North Korea Political Structure

The Democratic People 's Republic of Korea, more well-known as North Korea, was established under Kim Il-sung in 1948, following the Japanese surrender of control over the peninsula. North Korea is a personalist rule communist regime This is evident through the centralization of power, lack of political contestation, and the presence of a personality cult. The political structure of North Korea greatly impacted the life of individuals and families. People were divided into classes, brainwashed, and methodically forced to work. In the book, Nothing to Envy, the regime’s impact on the citizens is brought to life. This paper will analyze how the regime affected certain families through its repressive policies and then compare those same situations to a democratic government.
In 1958, Kim Il-sung ordered the classification of the North Korean people into about fifty distinct groups. These groups were divided into three broad classes. The Core, wavering, and hostile. The Core class would consist of Kim Il-sung, his family, and high ranking party members. The wavering class mainly consisted of party members and laborers loyal to the state. To be grouped within the hostile class was disastrous. It consisted of female entertainers, fortune tellers, and those who were declared politically suspect, or those who could
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Mi-ran dated Jun-sang. Jun-sang’s family moved to North Korea from Japan soon after the end of Japanese control. They chose North Korea because at that time it was more prosperous than the South. The family was Korean, had higher class status than Mi-ran’s, and lived a moderate lifestyle because of savings and family money. Jun-sang’s father pushed him very hard to do well in school in order to attend a university Pyongyang. Jun-sang’s ambitions to attend a university in Pyongyang would have been ruined. Jun-sang and his family’s songbun would be affected if he was found to be dating

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