Newspapers in North Korea
Daily newspaper distribution is relatively high (208 newspaper excl. Per
1,000 residents, 2000). All of North Korea's ten daily newspapers are in some
way connected to the state-carrying party and part of the ideological work. The
journalists must also belong to the party. There is strict censorship. The
largest daily newspaper is Rodong Sinmun ('The Working Paper'), which has a
circulation of 1.5 million copies. and issued by the Central Committee of the
Party. The government newspaper Minju Choson ('Democratic Korea') has about
Radio and television are state-owned. The national radio broadcasts local
programs, including through speakers at workplaces. TV is broadcast in three
channels. All radio and TV sets are locked at an official frequency so that
viewers are not able to watch foreign programs via satellite. There are 154
radio and 54 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).
Early Korean culture drew strong impetus from
both China and Japan. Art objects of Chinese origin are
preserved from the century closest to the birth of
Already then, however, a distinctive Korean style had
developed, with shapes and patterns on cult and
ornamental objects, which are completely different from
what was found in China and Central Asia. Paintings from
the same era have found paintings that, though Chinese
influenced, have their own features in both figurative
depiction and ornamentation.
Korean culture experienced several periods of
prosperity during ancient and medieval times. Korean
stone sculpture from the early Middle Ages is regarded
as the most artistic development in East Asia.
Latest population statistics of North Korea, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
Literature emerged during the Choson period from the
late 1300s. The creation of the Hangul writing system in
the 15th century contributed to the spread of national
literature. Only during the latter part of the 19th
century did Korean culture begin to be influenced by
Since 1948, all cultural activities have been
strongly ideologically characterized and strictly
state-controlled. Literature, opera and dance will raise
the proletarian class consciousness, prove the
superiority of North Korean culture and praise the
country's leaders. The artists serve at the major state
and regional cultural institutions.
Archeology has become a tool for creating national
self-esteem. Large resources have been invested in
excavations, and the museums organize visits from
workplaces and schools. For North Korea public policy,
Top post for Kim Jong-Un's sister
Kim Jong-Un's sister is reported to have held a high position within the
party as Deputy Director of the Central Committee.
Miller and Bae are released
North Korea releases two Americans held captive, Matthew Todd Miller and
Kenneth Bae. The release is seen by observers in the outside world as a sign
that North Korea has become more willing to negotiate.
Americans are calling for help
The two Americans arrested during the year are pleading for help from their
government to return home, in an interview with the AP News Agency. They fear
long prison sentences, as does Kenneth Bae (see April 2013).
Short-range missiles are fired
North Korea launches five short-range missiles as Pope Francis arrives in
More test shoots
North Korea will make another five test shoots with short-range robots during
Japan eases sanctions
Japan decides to ease some of its sanctions on North Korea. It is in exchange
for the North Koreans resuming investigation into what happened to the Japanese
who were kidnapped by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s. Reports indicate that
several of them are still alive. Japan will remove some restrictions on travel
to and from North Korea and allow the transfer of larger sums to North Korea
than before. North Korean vessels will also be allowed to call Japanese ports if
they are linked to humanitarian missions. The relief of the sanctions is
considered to have the most symbolic significance.
Multi-storey house collapses
The official news agency announces that a multi-storey house in Pyongyang has
collapsed and killed hundreds of people. The house is said to have had major
design defects and inspections of the building have been substandard.
Drones are discovered in South Korea
Two drones reportedly coming from North Korea are found in South Korea.
Kim Jong-Un is re-elected
Kim Jong-Un is re-elected chairman of the National Defense Commission.
Shooting at the sea border
North Korea drills near the disputed sea border against South Korea in the
Yellow Sea. After grenades enter South Korean territory, South Korea responds to
Trial shoots defy prohibition
Trials of two medium-range missiles take place at the end of the month,
despite the UN ban.
Kim Jong-un's first choice
The first election is held for the Supreme People's Assembly, Parliament,
since Kim Jong-Un took over the helm. Unsurprisingly, the turnout is 100 percent
in the constituency where the leader himself is running, and 100 percent vote
Trial firing of short-range missiles
North Korea is conducting several tests of short-range missiles. The test
shootings are ongoing while the US and South Korea are holding joint military
Families in reunion
The first reunification meetings between families not seen since the Korean
War are organized. There are a few hundred people on each side. The meetings are
closely monitored by North Korean government officials. The last time such
meetings were arranged between the countries was in 2010.
Guilty for crimes against humanity
The UN Human Rights Council provides its report (see March 2013).
According to the report, there is evidence that the regime has committed a crime
against humanity. Testimonies from hundreds of North Koreans describe torture,
children in prison and starvation, a woman forced to drown her own baby and
terrible conditions in the country's labor camps.