North Korea's new generation's changing values and prospects / By Lim, Soon-Hee -- Seoul: Korea Institute for National Unification, 2007. The changes in individual and societal values have been more distinct and more quickly apparent in among this new generation of North Koreans, and it is this trend that was analyzed in depth in the author's thesis "The Values of the New Generation of North Korea", which was published in December 1995.
Ⅱ . Definition of the Main
Concepts and Analyzing Measure
North Korean New Generation
Its official definition is the so-called "fourth generation revolution". The new generation in North Korea is called. The media also showed strong hostility to the "circulation of reactionary ideology and culture and decadent way of life", the spread of the "liberalizing" wind of the imperialists and their vulgar appeal". All this meant the excitement of the youth.
The North claimed that they must suppress the penetration of "imperialist thought and culture", which, they pointed out, is based on "excessive individual selfishness" and their "yellow capitalist wind" with "revolutionary ideological offensives". And to do this, the authorities stressed that they have no choice but to strengthen the regime's propaganda on the population. The section discussing the younger generation's views on the family includes the subcategories of views on marriage, views on parents, and views on married couples.
They proudly emphasize that they are “the new generation that has happily grown up in the bosom of the Honorable General.” They also say that they are “warriors of the Commander in Chief” and that they find the meaning of their lives in upholding the “leader of the Military First Policy.” They insist on repaying Dear Leader and the authorities for the generosity of being raised as “children blessed with happiness.” They do not view this as an obligation at all, but as a conscientious and fair thing to do as a person. The revolutionary military spirit refers to the “spirit of the era of the socialist Chosun in the period of the Military First Revolution.” The revolutionary military spirit is “the spirit of protecting socialism created by Kim Jong Il's Military First Politics, an unyielding fighting spirit, especially aimed at embodying the spirit of accompanying Dear Leader to the end.”7 The core of the revolutionary military spirit is “the spirit of accompanying Dear Leader to the end.” The purpose of all this, like learning the People's Army and cultivating the Revolutionary Military Spirit, is to strengthen loyalty to Dear Leader. In the North Korean novels released after 1995, the new generation understands the self as a standardized being and not as an independent individuality.
7 Lee Hyun-soon, "The Realization of Military First Revolution Line through the Literary Arts," in Chosun Art (April 2001), pp. The lives of 'Chosun Boy Scouts' and 'The Union of Kim Il Sung Socialism Youth' are examples . The Nordic authorities educate the new generation through group lectures on group power and indoctrinate them to "believe that they cannot live apart from organizations or groups."9 The authorities want the new generation to only be aware of a formed and standardized self that is buried in a group, an individual who exists only for the country and society and not an independent person aiming for a better life.
9 Kim Il Sung, “On Several Tasks for Strengthening School Educational Work,” The Kim Il Sung Selections 29 (Pyongyang: KWP Press, 1985), p.
Views on Occupations
This characteristic was also highlighted in previous research and based on this we can assume that the new generation in the North, before and also after the food shortages, wants to study at university and aspires to obtain a university degree. Negative characters in the novels give a different meaning and concept to jobs and these are contrary to the officially approved values. The young people who are negatively described in the novels are not diligent in their work and do not consider their work as a social duty.
In real life, however, opportunities for young people to enroll and study at university are rare. A previous survey found that young people in the North were envious of university graduates and preferred careers such as diplomat or trader to jobs such as doctor or professor. As we have already mentioned, young people in the north prefer jobs that allow them to financially support their families, but at the same time they want jobs that can enrich them.
According to settlers, the professionalism of the citizens is relatively strong, at least before the worsening of the food shortage, as it is similarly described in the novels.
Views on Marriage
Meaning of Love and Marriage
It has to be described as related to and sympathized ideologically with the fighting process to perform the duty imposed by the Party and the revolution more successfully."24 The officially desired or prescribed values of the North form the basic concept of love and marriage of the young people are positively described in the North's novels. In the short novel The Key, a young lady falls in love with a man's male passion and marries him against the wishes of other people. In the previous research from 1995, most of the young female characters who appeared in novels maintained their passive attitudes regarding love and marriage and found the meaning of.
However, in some of the novels published after 1995, some young women are depicted as having a more assertive, passionate attitude towards love and marriage. In the novels released after 1995, younger people meet and date freely, although the dating must lead to marriage. While dating and getting married, they don't meet new people at all.
It is a very small number, but it is true that some people make a distinction between love and marriage and consider them separate.
Conditions to Be a Spouse
- Views on Parents
- Views on Married Couples
Like the previous study, young women in the novels prefer a man who is intelligent, has a natural curiosity, and is future-oriented. In the novels used as analysis material in the previous study, young people described as positive characters did not fail to respect or care for their parents. The new generation's view of their parents has remained the same in the novels released after 1995.
According to the new settlers, it is true that the new generation in the North fulfills their duty to their parents and does not fail to care for them, even in the face of serious economic difficulties resulting from food shortages. As previous research has shown, North Korean citizens have a similar view of the marital relationship as that in traditional society. In previous research, young people's marital relationships emerged as a husband-centered vertical relationship.
According to the new setters, it is true that the marital relationship in the North is a vertical relationship that revolves around the man.
In the novels, the young generation's concept of women appears without distinction between positive and negative characters. 31 Park Young-sook, “Revolutionizing Families and Women's Responsibilities,” in The Korean Women Magazine (March 1999), p. Regardless of whether they are positive or negative characters, the young women in the novels show this attitude.
For example, in the short story The Path of the Female Warrior, a young woman is discharged from the army after becoming paralyzed from the waist down. As previous research showed, the idea that men are above women is common among young people in real life. Changes in the values of the new generation began to manifest from the late 1980s and have continued to change in the same direction and pace after 1995, when many people died of hunger.
This trend that North Koreans, including the younger generation, are becoming more and more oriented towards horizontal marital relationships, sharing housework with the husband helping the wife with work, is evident in real life.
Ⅵ . Main Causes of the
Economic Woes and the Food Shortages
With the collapse of the central distribution system, the government lost the raison d'etre of the ruling ideology and the patriarchal system, and its control over the citizens loosened. In contrast, Jangmadang became active and the sudden increase in population movement had a ripple effect. This trend also gained speed and scope as the activation of informal parts of the economy increased.
In general, in a socialist society, this kind of trend is an alarm of the dissolution of the established social. The novels suggested that the changes in the values of citizens were due to the food shortages, but described the trend as "anti-socialist factors", "anti-socialist behavior", "liberalism" or "vulgar style". It was especially in China that the new generation in the North could get chances to change their views on the outside.
A 30-year-old new settler who fled North Korea in 1997 admitted that his views on South Korea were changed by members of the Chosunjok, a Korean diaspora in China, who live in the South and in South Korean broadcasting and magazines worked together. the Chinese border area.
The Invasion of Foreign Ideas and Culture Through the Partial Opening
Since 1995, the North Korean authorities feared ideas and cultures from outside infiltrating the country and in response tightened ideological control over the people and emphasized, especially for the new generation, a strengthening of the ideological struggle against the "invasion of imperialist thought and culture. ". There are many novels that criticize the infiltration of foreign ideas and cultures and warn against widening the opening of society. The phenomenon of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer appeared for the first time.
Also in the "March of Hardship" period, North Korea experienced an annual shortage of about 2 million m/t of food with the problem continuing into the early 2000s. It is indicative that despite the tension between the two Koreas following the missile launch, mali, especially, the regularly practiced "Harmonious Life" is a systematic mechanism that can control and inspect the internalization of the youth of the party's official set of values. .
However, under harsh economic conditions, institutional education and organizational experiences as systematic or ideological mechanisms cannot do the job of guaranteeing young people's internalization of the party's official values.