February 05, 2023
Analysis

Why animal cruelty is commonplace in North Korean popular culture

While violence against humans is rare in DPRK art, films show animals as soulless creatures whose pain does not matter

In North Korean popular culture, graphic violence is not common — at least toward humans. However, attitudes around animals are a different story, as they are still seen mostly as mice catchers, guards or a protein source, not as life companions or friends. 

When it comes to people, even the most radical anti-American and anti-Japanese works, which aim at igniting hatred and desire for revenge, tend to avoid excessive brutality.