Ideal Citizen in North Korea’s Totalitarian Government

North Korea is a prime example of a modern-day authoritarian rule and totalitarian government. Ruled by a dynasty of Supreme leaders, with the current ruler Kim Jung-un creating a highly oppressive regime that has isolated the country almost completely. Kim Jung-un maintains an iron-clad grip on power through a cult of personality and brute force. Decades of isolation and propaganda has led North Koreans to worship the family, while any deviation from official state ideology or defiance of the Communist party’s rule results in execution or forced labor. North Korea is the most controlled and totalitarian government in modern history, with the state controlling practically every aspect of life, behavior, culture, and education as the government maintains its power through extreme levels of indoctrination. Imprisonment and torture in terrifying conditions of numerous detention camps throughout the country is common for even petty crimes or suspicion of political betrayal, keeping the population in control and fear (Oppenheim, 2016).

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North Korea holds show elections to province, city, and local legislations. However, all candidates are chosen by an entity of the government and there is no realistic choice or competition. All citizens are required to attend the voting, with any absences investigated, with the election commonly serving as an unofficial census as well. While privately there may be voter apathy, it is extremely risky for North Koreans to defy the official party line or avoid voting as a protest, as it will result in certain incarceration (Rauhala, 2014). North Korean citizens are expected to be fully obedient and great supporters of the Communist leadership and Kim Jung-un. Living a life in accordance to the numerous regulations ranging from types of jobs to the state-sanctioned haircuts and clothing is expected by the government from its subordinates. Political or social activity can only be sanctioned by the government and in support of the ruling regime.


Oppenheim, M. (2016). North Korea defector reveals stark reality of life inside one of the world’s most feared dictatorships. The Independent. Web.

Rauhala, E. (2014). North Korea elections: A sham worth studying. Time. Web.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Ideal Citizen in North Korea's Totalitarian Government." June 8, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Ideal Citizen in North Korea's Totalitarian Government'. 8 June.

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