North Korean schools teach children to inform on their parents for the communist regime and claim South Korea is an impoverished tyranny, Japan’s Ahasi Shimbun detailed in a report on Tuesday.
The newspaper, which obtained 20 textbooks published in 2015 used to educate young people, found that the schools were teaching children to worship Kim Jong-un and his family and hate much of the free world, above all South Korea and Japan.
One example of the false information was within a “socialist ethics” textbook used for the third year of junior high school, which refers to the sinking of the MV Sewol ferry in 2014. The ferry’s demise killed 300 people, most of whom were high school students. According to the textbook, the “puppet government” of South Korea refused calls to help save the passengers and also failed to conduct an investigation into why the ship sank.
The same fate does not await all students in South Korea because of Pyongyang’s generosity, according to the textbook. The Sewol report also claims North Korea has “wonderful hospitals where the people can receive free medical care” despite the destitute state of the country and its reliance on medical aid from China to survive.
North Korean citizens live in constant fear that opposing the state could lead to the imprisonment or assassination of themselves of their family members. Society is largely built around loyalty to the state, with most public buildings covered with communist propaganda and messaging.
A brutal labor camp system is believed to house over 100,000 citizens, many of whom land in the camps after being found possessing Bibles, Western movies or books, and other forbidden media. The communist regime punishes up to three generations of a family for infractions like practicing Christianity.
Former South Korean unification minister Kang In-duk told Asahi that the main objectives of the textbooks are “to create citizens who unconditionally worship” Kim Jong-un and his regime to the point where they would inform on the beliefs of their parents.
“One aim of the educational system is to foster children into informants,” Kang explained. “The style of the textbooks has not changed since 70 years ago when North Korea was founded. Unless North Korea abandons its hereditary leadership structure, it will be unable to prevent the growing gap between reality and what appears in the textbooks.”