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What About Gay Rights in North Korea?

Gay Rights and Human Rights in North Korea


North Korea or the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a socialist society whose government controls the country's image to the outside world. Most of the internal affairs of the country are kept secret so there is little information as to gay life in North Korea. Homosexuality is not explicitly illegal, but it is shunned by the government as promoting consumerism, classism and promiscuity. Gay North Koreans either live in secrecy or enter heterosexual marriages with little or no understanding of their sexuality.

Here is North Korea's response to homosexuality on their official web site (which has been taken down since the publishing of this article):

"Due to tradition in Korean culture, it is not customary for individuals of any sexual orientation to engage in public displays of affection. As a country that has embraced science and rationalism, the DPRK recognizes that many individuals are born with homosexuality as a genetic trait and treats them with due respect.

Homosexuals in the DPRK have never been subject to repression, as in many capitalist regimes around the world. However, North Koreans also place a lot of emphasis on social harmony and morals. Therefore, the DPRK rejects many characteristics of the popular gay culture in the West, which many perceive to embrace consumerism, classism and promiscuity."

However, according to online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, "The [Official North Korea] web site is often criticized for exaggerating the level of democratic and religious freedoms that can be exercised in North Korea, so it is unclear how truthful such statements about the treatment of homosexuals are."

All DPRK television, news and media sources are owned by the North Korean government.

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