[The Korea Times] North Korea intensifies war against South Korean culture

26 Jan 2023

The Korea Times reports on North Korea's censorship and crackdowns by the Non-socialist Groups, a North Korean surveillance organization. This news article refers to a recent NKDB report and retrieved information from the report, North Korea's Non-socialist Group': Inspections, Crackdowns and Human Rights Violations in a Panoptic Society. 

The study on the Non-Socialist Groups, a shadowy surveillance operation inside North Korea, was conducted by the Seoul-based Database Center for North Korean Human Rights. A web-like network of informants keeps ordinary North Korean people in fear and helps embed the culture of bribery, it says. 

In a country where everyone breaks the rules, everyone is a potential criminal. The network stifles not just the general public but also the officials who enforce the rules, reinforcing the concentration of power for a very few top leaders. The research is based on interviews with 32 North Koreans who defected to South Korea between 2018 and 2020. 

More than 25 percent of the North Korean defectors said, "illegal videos" ― mostly from South Korea or the United States ― were the main target of the crackdown, followed by narcotics (17.3 percent), defection attempts (14.7 percent) and "capitalist-like lifestyle" (12 percent). Among them, more than 40 percent said they experienced such inspections daily.

Read the full article on the Korea Times' website HERE