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It seems like no matter where you get your news these days, North Korea is almost always a headline feature. Between power changes and threatened nuclear attacks, North Korea holds the attention of the whole world. However, there isn’t a lot of information about daily life inside the solitary state.

Here is the list of the most interesting things that have happened inside one of the world’s most (in)famous nations:

  • Unicorn discovery. The Korean Central News Agency reported the discovery of an unicorn lair in 2012. The lair is home to the unicorn that the Korean founder King Tongmyong used to ride.
  • State of war. North and South Korea are still technically in a state of war. There have been over 150 incidents between these countries since 1953.
  • Abduction. In 1978 South Korean director Shin Shang-ok and his actress wife were kidnapped. They were forced to produce movies for North Korea, including socialist rip-offs of Godzilla.
  • Invasion tunnels. North Korean forces are known to have dug tunnels running deep into South Korean territory. American and South Korean troops have found 4 so far, but there are believed to be around 20 more still there. Each tunnel is big enough to accommodate rapid movement of up to 30,000 soldiers an hour. As frightening as this may seem, the story of the tunnel’s discovery makes the North Korea seem less sinister and even more ridiculous. After the tunnel was found, the North tried to say that they hadn’t meant to tunnel that far, despite drill marks for dynamite pointing straight towards the South. They then tried to claim it was a branch of an extended coal mine, even though there is no coal at all in the area. Undeterred, they tried to pass it off as a mine by painting the walls black.
  • Government radio. In every household there is a government controlled radio. Reportedly this radio can only be turned down, but can’t be switched off.
  • Help from China. In 2006 China send aid to North Korea through its trainline. The North Koreans kept the aid and the trains, making the Chinese workers walk back to China.
  • Kim John Il’s biography. Propaganda states that at previous dictator Kim John Il’s birth a star lit up the sky, the seasons changed and double rainbows appeared. His official biography declares that he doesn’t need to use the toilet. He learned to walk at 3 weeks old and corrected junior high teachers during history lessons. He has written over 1500 books and is an expert on cinema. He also has the ability to control the weather by his moods. He invented a hamburger as well.
  • Daily life in North Korea. How does all this affect the everyday lives of random citizens around North Korea? The nation’s isolationist attitude means its citizens are almost totally destitute by American standards and unaware of anything happening in the world. An average worker earns around from 2 to 3 dollars per month. If you have a side job selling goods, you might earn an extra 10 dollars a month. Public services, like health care and education, are available, but you are required to pay fees for things like electricity, heating, and even building materials. Being sent to prison is always a possibility, with people getting multiple year sentences for rolling cigarettes with newspaper that has the image of country leader on it. However, if this sounds like complete hell, there is an upside - marijuana is completely legal.

    Meanwhile in North Korea (thefunnyplanet.com)

    Meanwhile in North Korea (thefunnyplanet.com)

(cha.lt; listverse.com)

Rodyk draugams

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Probably, all of us know the historical fact that Korea hasn‘t been previously split into two countries. North and South Korea was one nation until the 1950-1953 Korean War. After the war, in 1953, the country was divided into two parts. An interesting fact is that before the separation people were able to choose which part - North or South, they want to belong in. So, even though the two countries after separation share a common culture, language and history, but now, at the same time, they differ in policy and ideology. Political system disparities influence the media.

Media in South Korea
North Korea follows the losed-door (closed type/secret) policy. It is the Communist state led by one-man dictatorship. So the media is controlled by the state.

There aren‘t gathered a lot of information about the media in North Korea. And it is not surpsising - North Korea is one of the most media-controlled media in the world. North Korea’s constitution guarantees freedom of the press ans speech. Unfortunately, perhaps, in the constitution was forgot to mention that it is valid unless to those who compliments and praises the country and its government. Most of the TV, radio or newspaper news is propaganda. Mainly news are about the country’s leader Kim Jong-un, other countries such as South Korea or the United States tarnishment and slander. There are even created cartoons for children (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojtBPoll9Q4) in which the kids are being “taught” to hate America. This, again, only confirms what a strong propaganda is in this country.

North Korea has a particularly interesting media system because the communist state is very closed. Country does not allow the media to be exported to other countries in the same way as it does not import from other countries. Compared not only with South Korea, but also with other countries, South Korean media structure is very unique. Since North Korea is a private, a lot of information about its media system is not known, but some data, of course, it is possible to find.

„The US is truly an Axis of Evil“ (digitalpostercollection.com)

North Korea propaganda: „The US is truly an Axis of Evil“ (digitalpostercollection.com)

All media in North Korea is managed and financed by the government. Basically, as was mentioned, the media is considered to be propaganda, the state uses the media as a management tool, which allows the audience to form certain attitude and beliefs.

There are several newspapers in South Korea, but they all belong to the government. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) publishes three newspapers: The Pyongyang Times Rimjingang, Korean News Service (Chosun tongsan). Workers Party Committee publishes two newspapers: Rodong Sinmun, Pyongyang Sinmun, Government publishes one newspaper - Minju Choson.

There are also few television stations in North Korea, but they, like newspapers, government-owned. Central Broadcasting Committee and Korea looks after all television broadcasts. There are four major networks, but not all are available in the same places. For example, the cultural channel - Mansudae TV can be seen only in the capital of North Kore. Other popular stations - Korean Central TV, the Korean Educational, Cultural and Keasong Television Network.

Internet in North Korea as well is in government’s disposal. There is only one internet service provider. Most North Koreans have no access to the Internet in general.Internet is available at most universities, government agencies, libraries and state-owned corporations. Those who have access to the Internet can surf only in the North Korean sites (which, based on thestar.com data, are only 5500), with the aid of Firefox-style search system called “Our Country”. Also, whole attention is focused on the target information dissemination, rather than the commercial or entertainment content.

Media in South Korea
In contrast to the North Korea, South Korea uses an open democratic system which is open to foreign investors. It is a republic in which every 5 years is held presidential elections and where residents can express their oppinion. Power is divided between the executive, the legislature (The National Assembly) and the judiciary. The country’s prime minister is appointed by president with the authorization by The National Assembly.

The literacy rate in the country reaches 99%, educated society supports freedom of the media, but the system is not fully democratic, it shows signs of censorship restriction imposed by the media market.

Country publishes 11 national daily newspapers, managing press media. All of them are published in Seoul. Newspapers are supported by newspaper advertisements. The most popular newspapers in the country: Chosun Ilbo, Dong-a Ilbo and Joong-Ang Ilbo. Each are bought approximately from 1,5 to 1,8 million copies. These three are considered as prestigious newspaper. This is a really huge media complexes, which publishes news magazines, monthly magazines, other periodicals, which are focused on fashion, literature and so on. There is also a second group of newspapers (Hankyoreh, Seoul Shinmun and Kyunghyang Shinmun) with more “left” wing version. They significantly progresse, but a lot of them are being read by lesser audience - approximately every newspaper has a circulation of 400,000 units. Total South Korea has 290 daily newspapers, including daily newspapers published in the English and Chinese languages. There are eight business and three sports news newspapers.

Talking about television - this media is easily accessible to almost everyone South Korean. Radio is accessible to all. Stations are numerous - from knews stations to religious and musical. Cable TV is being used by 77% of Korean and it includes approximately 120 channels. In the end of the 2012 TV has been changed from analog overground to digital (as in Lithuania).

The three main television networks KBS (Korean Broadcasting System, available in the public sector), MBC (Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation broadcasted commercially, but required by law to be public television) and SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System, commercial television). It is also known and fourth network - EBS (Educational Broadcasting System), as you already can tell from the title that it specializes in science programmes.

The most popular television programme genre, observed by many people in the country, is a soap opera. Many television series, created int South Korea, became popular throughout East Asia. Television‘s freedom of speech is strongly influenced by the political regime. In South Korea president power are the three major, before mentioned, South Korea networks. So the broadcast, as well as in North Korea, is controlled.

According to the 2014 years data of internetlivestats.com it is known that in South Korea 45,314,248 people use Internet. Total 91,52% of the country’s population.With these, the use of Internet, data South Korea is the twelfth country in the world by number of Internet users. South Korea is a very innovative and progressive country talking about technology penetration and accessibility to the public. In 2009, the Internet media along with the cable TV has become an equivalent competitors in the advertising market (27%) compared with traditional print media (28%).

Sight to the future
Colectively, the media statuses of both countries are caused by political differences. North Korea is dominated by communism. So, it is not surprising, that the media is based on this principle as well. Meanwhile, South Korea, apart of democratic attitudes, is guided by capitalism. Although, the countries share a common history, but it does not unify these countries anymore. And hardly ever unifies - political and media differences are huge and irreversible. In the future, North Korea will continue to be one step back from South Korea, whereas instead that the country would be open to foreign capital it guides closed type policy. Well, but what can be expected - most of the affairs what the leader Kim Jon-un says, even the smallest little things, are the same North Korean propaganda, which the population of the country sees everywhere. To North Koreans such things are placed in mind from then when they start to talk or go to kindergarden. Therefore, they are wonderful North Korean citizens. As it seems, they will still believe their country’s power and will hate the United States of America.

South and North Korea (securityaffairs.co)

South and North Korea (securityaffairs.co)

Rodyk draugams

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