What Motivates North Korea

North Korea is a nation shrouded in mystery and paranoiac secrecy, making it difficult to understand the motivations behind its actions. To protect its sovereignty and its citizens, North Korea has chosen to keep its policies and motivations largely hidden from the rest of the world. However, it is possible to get a glimpse into the machinations of this nation by looking at some of the key issues that drive North Korea’s choices.

The primary motivation for the North Korean government is the preservation of its own power. To this end, it protects its citizens from outside influence by controlling what information they are exposed to and censoring anything that could be seen as critical of the leadership. The government also uses propaganda to bolster its rule and to paint its leaders in a favorable light. The North Korean government is also extremely protective of its own resources, and it works to keep its economy closed off from the rest of the world to protect its markets and resources.

Religion is also an important motivation for the North Korean government. While many countries in the world have seen a decrease in the power of religious organizations, the North Korean government has taken steps to ensure that its citizens remain religious. This includes establishing a state-sanctioned religion, prohibiting unauthorized religious gathering and practice, and punishing those who disobey the state’s religious laws. The North Korean government also promotes patriotism and nationalism, and it does not allow foreign influence to infiltrate its borders.

National security is a major motivator for North Korea, and this has been particularly true since the end of the Cold War. North Korea is extremely paranoid about potential threats from the outside world, and it has taken a hard line stance against its enemies. It has a large military presence, and often conducts military exercises as a way of demonstrating its strength. In addition, the North Korean government has developed a robust nuclear program, and it has made clear that it is prepared to use its nuclear capabilities in the event of attack.

The North Korean economy is another major motivator for the nation. Despite its self-imposed isolation, the North Korean government has set ambitious goals for developing its economy and increasing the standard of living for its citizens. To this end, the government has focused on creating jobs, investing in infrastructure, and reforming its financial system and economic policy. It has also opened up to foreign investment in some areas and has taken steps to make it easier for North Korean citizens to travel and work abroad.

Finally, the North Korean government is motivated by a strong desire for international recognition. In recent years, it has launched several diplomatic initiatives in an attempt to open up communication with its neighbors and gain acceptance from the international community. This has included reaching out to other countries in an effort to build diplomatic relations, and in some cases, even to negotiate peace treaties. The North Korean government has also sought to use its nuclear capabilities as a way of asserting itself on the world stage.

Domestic Relations

The North Korean government has a tumultuous relationship with its own citizenry. In order to maintain its grip of power, it often uses brutal tactics like public executions and forced labor camps to intimidate those who do not conform to its rule. It also strictly controls media and information and is quick to punish anyone who speaks out against the government.

The government also uses propaganda to promote a more positive image of itself. This includes painting the state as a heroic defender of its people, and a guardian of freedom and justice. It also tries to present North Korea as a bastion of order and stability in an often chaotic world.

However, despite the positive spin being put on North Korea’s actions and intentions, its citizens still suffer under oppressive regimes. The government also has a long history of human rights abuses, and it tightly controls access to food, health care, and education.

Despite all of this, the people of North Korea still remain committed and loyal to their government. This is due in part to the lack of alternatives, as well as to the deeply entrenched sense of nationalism and patriotism that exists within the country. Ultimately, it is clear that the North Korean government is determined to maintain its grip on power, and its citizens remain loyal in spite of the difficult circumstances.

International Relations

North Korea has a complex relationship with the rest of the world. For the most part, it has sought to separate itself from other countries, and most of its diplomatic initiatives have been focused on securing the nation’s interests and protecting its sovereignty. North Korea has also been very reluctant to enter into negotiations with other countries, and it has often taken a hard line stance on issues.

That said, North Korea has recently made some steps toward engaging in diplomacy with other countries, most notably in its outreach efforts to South Korea and the United States. This may be due in part to its desire for international recognition, as well as its need to reshape its economy. North Korea has also shown that it is open to the possibility of integrating its economy with other countries, as evidenced by its participation in some international trade agreements.

In addition, North Korea has become somewhat more open to the idea of forming alliances with other nations. This is evident in its recent moves to join the United Nations, and its outreach efforts to its Asian neighbors. While North Korea’s intentions may still seem opaque, it is clear that the nation is more willing to open up certain aspects of its foreign policy than it was in the past.

Ultimately, North Korea’s motivations largely remain a mystery to those outside of its borders. Its paranoia and secrecy make it difficult to understand its decisions, and it is clear that its motivations are not always easily discernible. Still, it is possible to get a glimpse into the motivations driving North Korea’s behavior by looking into its key policies, economy, religious beliefs, and foreign policy.


The motivations of North Korea can be largely understood by looking at its history. North Korea was created in 1948, following the division of Korea after the end of World War II. Since then, the nation has been led by the Kim family, who have sought to control the nation with an iron fist. Under their rule, North Korea has become increasingly isolated and tightly controlled, with the leadership taking drastic steps to protect the nation and its resources.

The government has also entrenched itself through the cult-like worship of the Kim family. This includes casting them as heroic figureheads and painting them as infallible in the eyes of the people. This, combined with the oppressive regime, has kept the population in line and ensured that the Kim family remains in power.

The North Korean government also seeks to maintain a strong military presence, and it continues to pour money into its nuclear program. This is largely seen as a way of deterring potential enemies from mounting an attack, as well as a way of gaining respect from the international community.


The North Korean government has consistently placed a high priority on its own interests, and this is evident in its political maneuverings. It has pursued a strategy of isolation, preferring to keep its own economy closed off from the ravages of globalization. It has also sought to develop strong ties with its allies, while shunning and punishing those who speak out against it.

The government also has a strong policy of banning outside information, which is seen as a threat to its grip on power. This includes censorship of the media, surveillance of its citizens, and the restriction of communication and access to the outside world. Ultimately, it is clear that the North Korean government is determined to maintain its control and will go to any lengths to do so.

North Korea is also highly suspicious of and hostile toward other nations, particularly those it perceives as a threat. This includes the U.S., from which it seeks to gain international legitimacy, and South Korea, with whom it has long been at odds. This hostility has been largely driven by the government’s desire to protect itself, and it is this paranoia that is seen as one of the main drivers of its actions.

The North Korean government’s foreign policy can also be traced back to its desire for recognition. It seeks to be seen as a legitimate state, and it has taken steps to build diplomatic relations and join international organizations, although it is still largely shunned by the international community. Still, despite its isolation, the North Korean government demonstrates that it is willing to take steps to engage with the rest of the world.

Economic Policy

The North Korean government has long sought to keep its economy relatively closed, and this has included banning foreign investments and keeping its markets largely inaccessible to the outside world. However, in recent years, the government has adopted more open economic policies, including the loosening of restrictions on foreign investment and the development of markets for its own citizens.

The government has also been working to reform its banking system and currency, as well as to invest in education, infrastructure, and job creation. This is seen as a way of modernizing its economy and increasing the standard of living for its citizens. In addition, the government has allowed some foreign investment, although it is still tightly regulated and monitored.

Ultimately, North Korea’s economic policies are largely driven by the government’s desire to protect its own interests and preserve its power. It is also motivated by the need to increase the standard of living for its population, and to make the nation more attractive to foreign investment.


Overall, North Korea is a country shrouded in mystery, and its motivations remain largely opaque to those outside its borders. Nonetheless, it is possible to draw some insights into the driving forces behind its decisions. These include the preservation of its own power, the protection of its resources, religious loyalty, national security, international relations, and economic growth. Ultimately, it is clear that the North Korean government is firmly committed to protecting its sovereignty and its citizens.

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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