Media in North Korea, as one can expect, is controlled by the government. It’s part of the way they are able to keep that “cult of personality” that I talked about earlier. The government is able to control everything North Koreans read, watch, and hear. North Koreans are only given one side of every story: North Korea is right, and everyone else is wrong. Most stories in the newspapers are just propaganda glorifying the Kim family. It molds the people of North Korea into sheep that follow the government. Here is an example of a North Korea government news agency and their website.
On the other end of the spectrum, North Korea does a very good job of keeping foreign media out of its borders. A large portion of the reason so little is known about North Korea is due to the lack of people who have been into it to collect information. There has been a few exceptions though lately with all the controversy of nuclear missiles in North Korea. Kim Jong Il, before he died, allowed foreign reporters into the country to watch North Korean rocket testing to ease international tensions. Most of the things foreign media is allowed to see is propaganda to sway the truth about what goes on in the country.
Along with all the other restrictions North Koreans live with, they are oppressed spiritually. The North Korean government shuns and punishes people for practicing religion. There is absolutely no public gatherings for religion. According to government statistics, 63% of the population has no religion. The majority of the rest are either some shamanistic religion of North Korea or Buddhist. There are some Christians in North Korea but they are reported to be heavily persecuted by the government. The government officially claims to be religiously tolerant and even has four different churches in Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital.
Despite the existence of these churches, westerners who have been to North Korea say these churches are actually just propaganda that the government feeds to tourists to make it seem like their country is religiously tolerant.
Amazingly enough, despite all of the oppression North Koreans undergo, most of the population loves their government. This is due to a cult-like love that has been instilled into the minds of North Koreans for their leader, Kim Jong-un. The people of North Korea refer to their leaders by titles such as “The Great Leader.” It is known that every home in North Korea is required to have a picture of their leader, as is every office. The people of North Korea worship Kim Jong-un with unrelenting passion. I once watched a documentary on North Korea in which people received eye surgeries removing cataracts. Every time someone had the operation finished, they would walk up to a giant picture of Kim Jong-il, the leader at the time, and put their hands in the air and thank him with much emotion. Then the people behind that person would also all join together in saying thank you to the portrait of the leader. Some people even became so filled with emotion that they broke down in tears. The extent of the brainwashing done to North Koreans is so great that they don’t even question their living conditions. They are told that their leader is doing great things for them and that all troubles are caused by America and other countries who denounce North Korea. The link below goes to a website showing an example with how North Korea responded to the of death of Kim Jong-il.