North Korea Has a Weird New Crackdown

Pyongyang has a problem with citizens using South Korean slang
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2021 4:02 AM CDT
North Korea to Citizens: Don't Use South Korean Slang
In this June 15, 2021. file photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a Workers' Party meeting in Pyongyang, North Korea.   (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

In the wake of a new law banning skinny jeans, mullets, and other trends from Western culture, North Korea on Sunday warned citizens against using slang from South Korea. Along with the fashions, hairstyles, and music of South Korea, slang from the country is banned under the new law, violations of which are punishable by jail time or even death, the BBC reports. In an editorial Sunday, the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Workers’ party, reminded young people to speak North Korea's standard language, the Guardian reports.

While Koreans in both countries technically speak the same language, their dialects are significantly different thanks to decades of separation, and the editorial referred to the North's dialect as superior. "The ideological and cultural penetration under the colorful signboard of the bourgeoisie is even more dangerous than enemies who are taking guns," the editorial reads. "When the new generations have a sound sense of ideology and revolutionary spirits, the future of a country is bright. If not, decades-long social systems and revolution will be perished. That is the lesson of blood in the history of the world’s socialist movement." (The country is also cracking down on K-pop.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.