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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

Democratic People's Republic of Korea - January 2023

New language law escalates crackdown on speech

North Korea enacted a new law in late January aimed at "preserving" the country's "socialist national culture" by rejecting words that are not part of Pyongyang's everyday language, and in particular South Korean slang. There are no specifications as to how the law will be enforced, or what punishments are attached. In 2020, a similar law was enacted authorising the death penalty for those distributing K-dramas (which have reportedly gained traction over the past years), among other things. Analysts allege the new language law could trigger an ever-tougher crackdown on the importation of South Korean culture from what currently exists.

Sources: Nikkei Asia, The Database Center for North Korean Human Rights, The Washington Post, NK News

Primary categories and factors
Rights 0 Rights  (0)
Civil Liberties
Freedom of Expression

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