December 09, 2023

An Education in Slavery

by Oliver Lewis 

Education is the unloved topic of North Korean observers. Lacking the glamour of military affairs, and the intrigue of political machinations, the North Korean school system receives little attention from commentators. In their study, Crisis on the Korean Peninsula, Michael O’Hanlon and Mike Mochizuki mention education only in a few passing sentences. Little more attention is given in Paul French’s North Korea; the paranoid peninsula. Even the large, authoritative texts tend to skirt around the subject; Bradley Martin’s masterpiece, Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader only dedicates a handful of pages to the schooling of North Korea’s children. This neglect needs to be rectified; education is not only the regime’s central foundation; it may well prove to be its greatest weakness.