Table of Contents

An opening statement

History of North Korea’s Ideology

North Korea’s Verbal Dialect

North Korea’s Non-Verbal Communications

Proxemics of Emotions in Physical Space

Compare with American counterparts

Communication between two countries


Non-Verbal Communications

In summation, it can be concluded that…


This is an introduction to the topic at hand.

North Korea has the highest rate of literacy in the entire world. It is currently led by Kim Jong-Un, the Supreme leader of North Korea. Worldometers reports that North Korea is home to over 25 millions people.

North Korea differs greatly from the United States in terms of its communication style. North Korea’s undisputed one-man rule and authoritative leadership is a major factor in this. North Korea, which is widely regarded as the harshest country in the world, makes its citizens live in fear and obey every rule imposed by the government. North Korea has many power dynamics, including censorship of information. It also forces citizens to communicate certain ways. Citizens don’t have any choice in what they do. They are constantly watched and told exactly what to think. North Koreans are not allowed to think independently. North Korea has a very specific agenda. North Korea’s unique communication style comes from the whole culture of authority in North Korea. The verbal, non-verbal, and body language of North Koreans is largely dictated by the culture. North Korea is known for taking seriously the communication of its citizens, because one word can be deadly or a non-verbal gesture could lead to death. North Korea is a country with a rich culture and philosophy. We will examine the way in which North Koreans communicate verbally and non-verbally.

History of North Korea. Its IdeologyIn 1010, Japan, five year after the Russo Japanese conflict, took control over the Korean Peninsula. Japan controlled the Korean Peninsula over 35 years. It modernized and industrialized it, causing many Koreans to suffer from Japan’s harsh regime. Following the defeat of Japan in 1945, United States and Soviet Union divided Peninsula in half. North Korea led by Kim II Sung a young Communist was formed in 1948. The Peninsula was split in half but this led to disputes between the two sides over ownership of the entire peninsula. As tensions rose, North Korea invaded South Korea, resulting in the Korean War. North Korea’s and South Korea’s war lasted three years. However, there was no formal peace treaty signed between the two Koreas. Kim II Sung formed North Korea’s nationalist society, “Juche,” meaning self-reliance. North Korea was able to control everything, including the economy, the media, and even its own citizens, because of this ideology. North Korea’s secrecy was maintained by adopting such an ideology and imposing strict restrictions on all aspects of life. Kim II Sung, who died in 1994 from a heartattack, left his role to Kim Jong Un, the current leader of North Korea. Kim-Jung’s ideology is similar to that of Kim II. He now follows a military style first approach known as Songun Chong’chi. This is the ideology which has lead North Korea to where it is today. It is this ideology that drives citizens to act and talk in a particular way. North Korea has a culture of authority and a society that is built around strict rules. North Korea is the one that decides what citizens can and cannot say. This idea is crucial when analyzing North Korea’s communicative styles. Below, we’ll analyze North Korea verbal communication style.

North Korea’s Verbal DialectNorth Korea speaks a dialect that is different from the South’s. The South speaks a dialect known as “Gyeonggi”, while the North uses a dialect named “Munhwao”. North Koreans speak the “Munhwao dialect” while the South speaks the “Gyeonggi” dialect. North Korea’s standard dialect is called “Munhwao”. In 1966, the language was adopted by North Korea as its standard. WorldAtlus claims that North Korea is ideologically inclined to speak “the language of the working classes” and that this has led to the North Korea dialects differing from the South. Verbal Communication of North Korea Verbal language in North Korea differs dramatically from that spoken in other parts of the world. A YouTube video entitled “Never Seen Real-Life Footage Inside North Korea” provides commentary and footage about the daily activities and lives that take place in North Korea. This documentary gives you a good idea of how North Koreans live and talk.

North Koreans are known for their conversational style. They communicate in a way that indicates they are more mature and well-behaved. Everyone speaks the same tones and in the same voice. This shows their maturity. The way they communicate can be explained by the fact that North Korea is a very authoritative nation and that their citizens conform to Kim Jong un’s ideal society. The style of their verbal language is more restrictive.

North Korea is a country that has a very quiet culture and society. North Korea is a country where citizens are taught to conform to its harsh and brutal laws. This fear causes them to be more reserved. A YouTube documentary called “Never Before Seen Actual Life Footage In North Korea” gives a good example of the country’s silence. In one video segment, there are students standing outside of school. A striking thing was that no one talked to anyone else as usual. They kept quiet and didn’t talk much in school. The documentary also showed the silence of the trains. No one was talking on board. North Korea’s culture is very quiet, much like Japan. Everyone is quieter and only speaks when necessary. As you can see, North Korea is a society that is very strict and uses verbal communication only when needed. Silence is linked to a lower level of government resistance, as well-behaved citizens who are silent are less likely resist. North Korea is a culture that values non-verbal communication more than verbal communication. We will now analyze the non-verbal style of communication in North Korea.

North Korea’s Non-Verbal CommunicationNon-Verbal communication is very apparent when it comes to North Korean culture, their non-verbal ways of communicating indicates that of an ethnocentric culture in which North Korea thinks they are superior to everybody else. North Korea is known for its ethnocentrism, and their non-verbal ways of communicating. One example of this is the “Goose-Stepping”, a march by a large army group that marches in unison at a constant speed. North Korea’s non-verbal communication is a great way to communicate power. North Korea uses this type of marching to demonstrate their power to its citizens and the rest of the world. Dr. Jack Brown said that by “Goose Stepping”, they were telling people, non-verbally, that they were powerful. This was to make them fearful.

Proxemics in North Korea: Emotions and Physical Space Proxemics refers to the space and distance between people. North Korea is a place where it’s important to keep a distance. Koreans tend to avoid touching strangers, and especially those of a different gender. North Koreans try to display as little emotion and show as few signs of affection as possible. North Koreans do not show physical affection, as North Korea still values space. Proxemics combined with emotions, physicality, and a non-verbal culture that isn’t too expressive or restrictive.

Comparing American CounterpartsThere’s a big difference in the way Americans communicate verbally. Americans can be loud and open. The United States has a more expressive voice than North Korea. North Koreans tend to be more reserved when it comes to talking to strangers.

The United States boasts a wide variety of spoken languages. English is not the only language in the United States. Many other languages are also used by people all over the country. WorldAtlus states that English, Spanish, and Chinese are the three most common languages. There are more than 100 languages spoken in China, but this is a good representation of the variety. North Korea has only one language, Korean.

Americans are in general more accepting of physical affection. Physical affection is neither frowned upon or looked down upon. It is normal to show physical affection when you meet people, see acquaintances or visit family. Other countries may find America’s physical communication strange because it shows openness, kindness and warmth.

Distance between people is another thing to compare. Everybody has a comfortable distance between them and is generally willing to get closer if necessary. North Korea insists on a certain distance, but Americans can choose their own distance depending on what they feel comfortable with. North Korea has a higher tolerance for distance.

Communication Between Two CountriesVerballyFrom a United States standpoint, when communicating with North Korea, it is critical to communicate indirectly. In a study by Cocroft & Ting-Toomey, the researchers found that Asians prefer indirect, ambiguous communication to the clear, direct communication of low-context cultures. North Korea, on the other hand, is a culture with a higher context, and so it is best to use an indirect style when communicating verbally. It is crucial to speak with maturity and respect when you are speaking with North Koreans. Sometimes, being “different” or expressive can come off as rude. It is clear that interactions based on cultural knowledge will be polite and show mutual respect.

Keep distance while communicating non-verbally. North Koreans tend to avoid closeness and will feel uncomfortable. North Koreans are more likely to respond positively to verbal communications if they have been exposed to this method of communication. Park says that it’s important not to show any emotion, or affection in public.

North Korea has a culture of avoiding touch. As an example, in North Korea the handshake is preferred to the handshake as the gesture of respect and greeting. If you want to communicate non-verbally with someone, try not to touch them.

ConclusionsAll things considered, North Korea differs dramatically from the United States. It is best to approach its culture with maturity and respect. When approaching their culture it is important to avoid any emotional expression or physical contact. North Korea’s society communicates non-verbally or verbally in this way because they live in fear.


  • rhysgraham

    Rhys Graham is an educational blogger and professor who writes about topics such as literacy, mathematics, and science. He has written several books, including one on the history of science. He is also the co-founder of the website Learn Out Loud, which helps educators create and share classroom activities.