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Grace Lyons
Mrs. DeVito
ELA 3-4 H Per. 3
29 Apr. 2016
Lies Everywhere
North Korea is known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Sounds like a
wonderful place to live One problem: the country's title is upside down. North Korea is
actually a power-hungry dictatorship where people are virtually captive. The North Korean
government controls its people through propaganda, limiting people's knowledge of the outside
world, and mistreating citizens with their strict rules and punishments.
In order to keep their citizens under their full control, the North Korean government
utilizes convincing propaganda to take over the minds of their people. The leaders of North
Korea use their strong force and power to drown the people with false information. In an article
explaining a woman's childhood in Korea, she explains that, "The teachers would say: Do you
know where this milk came from? It came from Dear Leader." Then, the woman states," I didn't
really ask questions. Somehow I just knew not to" (Fifield). From the time they are young, these
North Koreans have learned to agree with everything "Dear Leader" says. They didn't ask
questions because they knew that their obedience would be questioned if they had any second
thoughts. Through these words from the "Dear Leader", people believe every word he says, and
this propaganda has the people hypnotized that the leader is always right. Similarly, another
source explains the Korean's views on Americans. It states, "In gym class, there was a wooden
target of a human figure with pale skin and a huge nose, with 'cunning American wolf' written on
it. Lee and her young schoolmates would practice throwing with a wooden grenade" (Fifield). It

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takes an enormous amount of power to convince an entire population of people to hate another
nation, but it is obvious that this occurred very easily for North Korea. These citizens don't
understand the mind-tricks being played on them until they escape and understand the real world.
A woman who decided to sneak across the border to China because of her curiosity explains that,
"...when I realized that it was all lies, it was like I was just born at 23 years old" (Fifield). Her
realization shows that the life inside North Korea is completely falsified once one reaches the
outside to understand the truth. Similar to North Korea, the totalitarian government in 1984 uses
propaganda to control the people of their society. The motto of their society is, War is Peace.
Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength" (Orwell p. 4). These words completely contradict
each other, but the government has convinced the people that it is a good standard to live by, so
the people believe it. This propaganda is successful because it slowly sneaks into the minds of
the people and becomes a motto they live their lives off of. The society of 1984 is very similar to
North Korea because of their abilities to use false information to gain the allegiance of their
While having a well-informed and intelligent society can help advance society, too much
information can be detrimental to a culture because it could lead the people on to thinking there
is a better world out there. In North Korea, knowledge of the outside world is limited in order to
keep all obedience to the government. As read in an article from BBC News, "Mobile phone use
was banned in 2004." It is also mentioned that, "Internet access in North Korea is restricted to a
small section of the elite who have received state approval (North Korea's Tightly Controlled
Media- BBC News). This technique keeps the citizens focused on their lives instead of
adventures on the internet to learn about other societies or hear other opinions from distant
friends or family. This tool is successful for the government because they can have full control

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on what the people are learning. In 1984, as well as restricting all Internet and social connection,
the government has memory holes where any traces of thought or scraps of waste paper found
are dropped into them and taken away to unknown places. (Orwell pgs. 37-38). While these
actions from the government seem extreme, it is the only way to limit people from thinking. With
these thoughts quickly removed from society, memories never exist, and people's knowledge is
limited only to what the government says is true. Similar to 1984, the leaders of the North
Korean government utilize their power to limit the knowledge of their citizens.
If North Korea was actually the Democratic People's Republic, the people should receive
some type of support under the law to help them live a happy and successful life. For example,
an article written from The Guardian explains the story about a young woman who returns from
a Chinese prison camp pregnant and North Korea has strict rules over racial impurity. Most
women had forced abortions but this woman gave birth successfully. However, a guard heard the
baby crying and forced the woman to drown it (Walker). This terrible event proves that the
people have no say in what goes on politically. With strict laws and regulations, the people
slowly settle for less than they deserve. The governments voice trumps all, and their
mistreatment of their citizens disproves their title as a country. Also, in another article, the
economic issues of North Korea are highlighted. First, about half of their population lives in
poverty (Newman). In addition, "Most workers earn $2 to $3 per month in pay from the
government" (Newman). The economic wellbeing of the citizens is obviously not being
considered. Again, it goes back to the title of their county. Are they really seeking the needs of
the people like a "republic" should, leaving their society poor and desperate for money?
North Korea sits on a thrown of lies. Who they say they are is different from how they
treat their people. "Republic" does not correlate with "dictatorship." With the use of propaganda,

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limiting knowledge of the world, and mistreating their citizens, the North Korean government is
able to keep their citizens contained and oblivious to the rest of the world so that they can grow
and become a stronger nation based off the lies they teach.