North Korean authorities give lectures on U.S. lifestyle “colonization” of South Korea, documents reveal

Lectures materials from North Korea obtained by Daily NK. Image: Daily NK

Lecture materials handed out to Workers’ Party of Korea (WKP) directors last month claim South Korea is facing a loss of national identity due to “colonization” by the US.

“The bourgeois lifestyle spread by the imperialists is killing the national identity of the country and its people,” the lecture materials recently obtained by Daily NK claim. “This lifestyle is like poison, spreading like a plague through society.”

“The imperialists use propaganda tools like newspapers, magazines, radio and television to spread all kinds of reactionary ideology and false beliefs, which paralyze the healthy minds of people,” it continues. “There are many movies, songs, dances and novels that are erotic, crude and grotesque in nature, along with various kinds of cultural artwork that teaches people to do whatever it takes to fulfill one’s desires.”

The authorities have recently strengthened their control over the Sino-DPRK border, while punishments have intensified for those caught spreading anti-socialist sentiment, as well as those in possession of South Korean videos and music.

Excerpt of recently obtained lecture materials about U.S. lifestyle “colonization” of South Korea.

The propaganda also states that the US has colonized South Korea and is forcing American-style lifestyles on South Koreans, leading to a loss of Korean identity and culture.

“American imperialists dominate South Korea and use whatever means necessary to force South Koreans to follow American lifestyles,” the materials claim. “As a result, South Koreans are losing their own identity as Koreans and are finding it more and more difficult to practice their own traditional customs.”

“The rotten-to-the-core American lifestyle is dominating South Korean society and even suppressing the Korean language,” the material states. “What’s more, our pure and refined Korean culture is being destroyed.”

North Korea has refrained from openly calling the US an imperialist country since the US-DPRK summit last June, and has also avoided directly criticizing South Korea. State authorities, however, are using internal propaganda to spread the idea that America is “imperialist” and South Korea is a “colony” of the US, likely in an attempt to strengthen ideology amongst the population.

This emphasis on strengthening ideological foundations also found its way into Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s Address on January 1. “We should launch a powerful drive to establish a socialist way of life and ennobling moral discipline, thus ensuring that no immoral and uncultured practices that run counter to our people’s emotions and aesthetic view are revealed. By doing so, we can turn the whole society into a large, harmonious family filled with moral excellence and tender feelings,” Kim stated, according to the official English language text of the speech.

North Koreans who are familiar with outside information generally distrust what the lecture materials claim. Daily NK reported in July that lecture attendees were uninterested in the lectures and even took naps during a lecture referring to South Korea as a “rotten and disease-ridden country.” 

Mun Dong Hui is one of Daily NK's full-time journalists. Please direct any questions about his articles to