The historic Korean culture is focused on respect for elders and comes with a strong
sense of discipline and humility. The people believe honor and respect comes with
time, hard work, and a long process of learning. With this mentality also comes
an effort to "save face," which is a desire to never offend another and
gives people an opportunity to maintain their pride, which is something that takes
generations, not years to gain.
Additionally, the Koreans have spent much of their history under foreign rulers
and this, like it often does, created a stronger ethnic pride and identity. This
united the people and soon the people began to follow any ethnic Korean at a point
the communists, under the leadership of Kim Il-Sung, came to power. Kim's leadership
was quickly accepted due to this strong national pride, his leadership, and his
strong belief in self-rule.
Although historic Korean ideals allowed Kim to come to power, it was only Kim and
his circle of leader that have altered the culture since this time, without the
people's approval or, in many cases, knowledge. Kim and his government decided
to isolate the people as their focus shifted to economic growth, however one-sided
growth as industry became the only market exploited. They also isolated the people
from those abroad, the country attempted to became self-reliant, and began to teach
their people whatever is needed to maintain power and instill pride.
This isolated state has led to the people of North Korea being so isolated that
they don't know any better than to believe what their government tells them
is true; many of these people have been the victims of government lies from the
day they were born. The people are too poor to afford cars or to travel with any
significance as long bus trips, train trips, and flights are too expensive for anyone
to even see their own country. Fear is an integral aspect of daily life so socialization
has diminished as distrust has risen. Luxury goods are not accessible and, even
if they were, no one would be able to afford them. Knowledge of the outside world
is limited to misconceptions as fast food, packaged foods, and most technology are
unheard of in this hermit state.
People everywhere only know as much as they are taught and the North Koreans only
known what their government has told them, which is not always true. About the only
aspects of the North Korean's historic culture that survive are their language,
heated floors, a sense of respect, some clothing, and some foods.