What Are Strict Rules In North Korea

What Are Strict Rules In North Korea

The social and political atmosphere in North Korea can be highly restrictive and repressive. With harsh controls over every aspect of life and strong punishments for transgressors, North Korea’s government is particularly strict. This authoritarian regime prohibits freedom of speech, freedom of religion and expression, and freedom of the press. When considering the political climate and lack of civil rights typically afforded to citizens, it is no wonder that North Koreans often find it difficult to travel abroad.

Public abilities to express oneself are severely restricted. Criticism of the government is not tolerated, as the government operates in closed autonomy. Moreover, the government actively encourages citizens to join the Workers’ Party. They also actively discourage public displays of religiosity, because any sign of religious devotion is seen as a sign of dissent. North Korea is one of the most restrictive countries in terms of freedom of speech, media and press.

Additional evidence of North Korea’s strict rule is imposed by the Surveillance State, where citizens are heavily monitored and spied upon. For example, citizens are not allowed to watch foreign movies, listen to foreign music or access the internet without approval from the government. It is reported that there are secret police stationed even inside homes, in order to monitor citizens. Furthermore, North Koreans are subjected to frequent searches and interrogations. Overall, access to international news outlets is limited and heavily censored, no matter what medium the outlet is delivered in.

Despite the lack of basic freedoms and rights in North Korea, it is still home to many strict laws and rules. There are a variety of criminal statutes, including prison sentences, public torture, and executions for violations. Controversially, North Korea has enacted laws that criminalize even minor offenses. For instance, crossing the border without government-issued papers is a criminal act, capable of resulting in a long prison sentence. In North Korea, punishments for breaking laws can be inhumane and cruel. Just for expressing their opinions on the government, citizens may be placed in political prisons, also known as “coffin camps”.

On top of all this, North Koreans go through intense censorship in various ways. All books, films, and other media must go through rigorous censorship in order to be approved by the government. Any topics seen as challenging to the government are rarely approved. The government further ensures that citizens remain within the box of their rights and freedoms by enacting surveillance via tracking devices and secret police.

In light of the oppressive nature of North’s Korea strict rules, defection is commonplace even facing the risk of retribution and fines. In spite of the inhumane treatment, North Korea has taken steps to protect its citizens in areas such as medical care and education, providing health care to each citizen without charge, and offering free access to education from elementary school to university.

Military Protocol and Order of Conduct

North Korea imposes strict and clearly defined rules on its military. All citizens of a certain age are required to comply with military service and military activities. This can include surveillance of citizens, border guard and education of military members in propaganda and the nation’s ideology. In addition to military service, citizens are also subject to overly strict orders such as saluting statues and portraits of the leaders, refraining from displaying public affection and excessive public displays of cleverness.

The ruling class are not excluded from these strict rules, with Kim Jong-Un often demanding absolute loyalty and obedience from all members of the armed forces. Disobedience of the leader’s orders is punishable with long prison sentences, or even the death penalty. The military also strictly uphold the traditional values and ideology of North Korea, and violence against those who violate them is commonplace.

The military also ensures that citizens adhere to the guidelines set out by the government. Random raids, inspections and searches are used to monitor how citizens comply with the rules and regulations. Neighbourhoods and cities as a whole are monitored for signs of resistance, and reports of disloyalty are often swept away. If these inspections uncover any suspicious activities, it may end in imprisonment or even death for those involved.

The military is further used to spread the ideology and loyalty of North Korea amongst the citizens. Those found to be disloyal to the government or to the ideology of North Korea are often re-educated or punished severely. In addition to monitoring citizens, the military actively survey foreign media and attempt to control the flow of information to the public.

Societal Guidelines

North Koreans are also subject to strict rules in the areas of dress and conduct. These include a ban on public displays of affection and long, traditional-style haircuts for men. Citizens must wear their hair in the approved style of the day, and be dressed according to their social class. For example, members of the elite and political class wear designer clothing while the proletariat classes must adhere to a more strict dress code.

Most North Korean citizens are only allowed to use government-issued phones and television sets, which are both heavily censored. Their movements are also limited, as leaving one’s home for more than a few hours is prohibited without a special permit from the government. Additionally, the government bans the import of certain goods from abroad, including certain computers and television sets.

North Korea’s restrictions extend to leisure activities as well. Organizations such as sports clubs, hobby clubs and churches require a permit to form and operate, as do any exhibits or public gatherings. Citizens may also find themselves unable to travel abroad due to limited passport issuance.

Moreover, homes are subjected to intensive inspections. These inspections are conducted by the government in order to ensure that citizens are following the strict beliefs and ideology of the nation. Occasionally, these inspections uncover disloyalty, dissent or illegal items, which may lead to the confiscation of goods and even the imprisonment of the guilty.

Controlled Access to Lands and Buildings

Certain buildings and regions of North Korea are strictly off-limits to citizens. These include any military buildings, industrial complexes and nuclear facilities. These areas are heavily guarded, out of bounds for citizens. Illegal entry will lead to imprisonment.

On the other hand, certain places are open to the public, such as government offices, parks and monuments. Citizens must always comply with government regulations and restrictions when visiting or attempting to access these areas. Entering with valid identification or permission is required.

Furthermore, during the public holidays such as the Day of the Sun and the Day of the Worker, citizens are encouraged to take part in national parades and events, in order to show their loyalty to North Korea’s leaders. Establishments such as bars, restaurants and movie theaters must also submit their performance plans to the government in order to be granted permission to operate.

Restrictions on Media

In addition to the limited freedoms of citizens and controlled movement of goods and services, North Koreans also have limited access to foreign media. This includes television shows, movies, music and internet access. North Korean media is heavily affiliated with the ideology and beliefs of the nation, and can often be dull and repetitive. Citizens with valid passports may access international media, but only after a thorough background check by the government.

Interactions with foreign nationals are also subject to government supervision. Any contact with foreign nationals is restricted and frowned upon. As a result, any person who is seen interacting with a foreign person or foreign organization can be seen with suspicion and reprimanded. Furthermore, any foreign contacts must be reported to the government and they are strictly monitored.

Furthermore, radios and TVs in North Korean homes contain devices that block reception of foreign broadcasts, and it is illegal to open foreign social media accounts. Any attempt to tune in to foreign media broadcasts is punishable by up to two years in a prison camp. This is just another example of how North Korea’s government is desperate to keep any kind of foreign influence out of its country.

Communication Regulations

North Koreans are not only restricted by the physical aspect, but also by the virtual constraints put in place by the government. Communicating with relatives in other countries is strictly prohibited, as is any communication with foreign entities. Mobile phones are heavily monitored and citizens can only use government-backed communication services. Additionally, citizens are not even allowed to use cell phones or the internet without permission.

Social media is also heavily censored, and only certain individuals may access it. Any attempts to use platforms such as Twitter or Facebook are strictly prohibited. On a broader level, the government also regulates any broadcasts from other countries, blocking content which challenges the nation’s belief and ideology.

These communication restrictions extend to North Korea’s neighbours, as well. Access to South Korea’s media and digital platforms is also outlawed. These regulations are put in place in order to control the flow of information and prevent citizens from calling into question the nation’s beliefs.

Conclusion of Rights and Freedom

Overall, North Korea’s government is known for its strict rules. Citizens have their freedoms, movement and communication heavily regulated by the government, with extreme punishments for those who step out of line. There are a variety of prohibited and restricted activities, such as accessing foreign media and showing any kind of religious devotion. North Koreans must adhere to the nation’s ideology and follow the rules set out for them. North Korea’s recent policies have made it a more restricted country than ever before.

Cassie Grissom is an American journalist and author living in Seoul, South Korea. She has been studying the Korean peninsula since 2011, and her work focuses on understanding human rights issues in North Korea. In addition to her work as an author, Cassie is an active advocate for human rights in North Korea. She regularly shares stories about life in North Korea with international audiences to raise awareness of the plight of its citizens.

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