Posted tagged ‘Juche’

The North Korean enigma

April 12, 2013

For those who might want to understand a little more about what drives that almost incomprehensible hereditary dictatorship in Asia, you might want to have a look at what the government describes as its guiding ideology, called ‘Juche’. What does this mean? According to the official website of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), it’s this:

‘The Juche idea is based on the philosophical principle that man is the master of everything and decides everything. It is the man-centred world outlook and also a political philosophy to materialize the independence of the popular masses, namely, a philosophy which elucidates the theoretical basis of politics that leads the development of society along the right path.’

If you are like me, you might struggle a little to discern any meaning in that at all (though you might notice the sexist language). In practice it probably means that ‘Juche’ is whatever the ruling family says it is.

The difficulty with North Korea is that it appears to be governed solely by a determination of self-preservation. Trying to understand it beyond that is probably not possible. And that makes it very dangerous.