Home > Publications > Reports & Analyses

Reports & Analyses

The Quality of Life of North Korean: Current Status and Understanding

Kim Soo Am, Kim Kook Shin, Kim Young Yoon, Lim Soon Hee, Jeong Eun Mee, Park Young Ja
Publish Date / Page
2012-12-31 / 62 p.
Series No.
Study Series 2012-02
SS12-02.pdf   [다운:2015]
  • Summary

    North Korea’s economic difficulties during the mid-1990s were the decisive factor in fundamentally damaging the North Korean people’s quality of life. The standard of living has deteriorated to extreme levels of deprivation in which the right to food security, the right to health and other minimum needs for human survival are denied. Since its inauguration, the Lee Myung-bak administration has proposed policies that strive to improve the North Korean people’s “quality of life” by providing humanitarian aid to the North. Although concern regarding the “quality of life” has been discussed with a focus on aid provisions, the reality is that there is a lack of specific analyses on this subject. It is true that one can refute such analyses by stating that it would be pointless to discuss the quality of life when the North Korean economy is in a state of ruin. However, an academic approach is necessary in such discussions as a means to evaluate the propriety of applying international views onto the concept of the quality of life. With this perspective, the paper aims to review the possibility of applying international standards onto North Korea in order to systematically analyze the phenomenon that has disintegrated its quality of life. Should the international views be applicable, then this paper will explore the means by which they can be applied while also acknowledging North Korea’s special characteristics...

  • Contents
    Ⅰ. Introduction

    Ⅱ. Theories on the Quality of Life and an Analytic Framework for its Application in North Korea

      1. Current Trends in International Research on the “Quality of Life” 

      2. Applying the “Quality of Life” Theory to North Korea 

      3. The Official North Korean Discourse on Life 

    Ⅲ. The Objective Situation of North Korea’s Quality of Life

    1. The North Korean People’s Situation Regarding “Food, Clothing, and Housing”

    2. The Illusion of “Free” Education and the Widening Inequality in the Quality of Education

    3. The Illusion of “Free” Medical Care and the Widening Inequality in the Quality of Medical Services

    Ⅳ. Subjective Perceptions on Quality of Life

    1. The North Korean Authority’s Official Goals for Life and Actual Perceptions

    2. The Different Classes’ Quality of Life: From the “Core, Wavering and Hostility” to “Upper, Middle and Lower”

    3. Generational Changes in Quality of Life: Transitional Period of the Distribution System, Food Shortages, and the Market Generations 

    4. Gender Differences in the Perceptions on Quality of Life

    Ⅴ. Conclusion: Improving the Quality of Life of the North Korean People

버튼 모음