Glossary -- North Korea

The term for responsible party, government, and economic functionaries; also used for key officials in the educational, cultural, and scientific fields.
Korean translation of the Japanese word zaibatsu, or business conglomerate. A group of specialized (South Korean) companies with interrelated management servicing each other.
chikalsi, or jikhalsi
Refers to a major city under the direct administration of the central government rather than a provincial governor. In 1992 there were three chikalsi: P'yngyang, Kaesng, and Namp'o.
chip, or jip
The household, i.e., family members under one roof; the term k'nchip, or k'njip, meaning "big house," refers to the "main family" of the eldest son, while the term chagnchip, or chagunjip, meaning "little house," refers to the "branch family" households of the younger sons.
Abbreviation for Chae Ilbon Chson In Ch'ong Yonhaphoe, literally General Association of Korean Residents in Japan. Members of this Japan-based association tend to be supportive of North Korea's foreign policy and have kinship and financial ties to North Korea. Known as Chosen Soren in Japanese.
The Korean word for a genealogical record, usually that of an entire clan tracing its ancestry to a common ancestor who lived several hundred years ago.
Ch'llima, or Ch'llima Work Team Movement
Intensive mass campaign to increase economic production inaugurated in 1958; began as Ch'llima Movement (Ch'llima Undong), named after the legendary Flying Horse said to have galloped a 1,000 li in a single day; a symbolic term for great speed. Farm and factory workers were exhorted to excel in the manner of Ch'llima riders, and exemplary individuals and work teams were awarded special Ch'llima titles. The labor force was organized into work teams and brigades and competed at increasing production. Superseded in the early 1960s by the Ch'ngsan-ni Method (q.v.) and the Taean Work System (q.v.), and then in 1973 by the Three Revolution Team Movement (q.v.).
Teachings of the Heavenly Way. This indigenous monotheistic religion was founded in the nineteenth century as a counter to Western influence and Christianity. Its Christian-influenced dogma stresses the equality and unity of man with the universe. Formerly Tonghak (Eastern Learning) Movement (q.v.).
Korean unit of land area measurement. One chngbo equals about 2.45 acres, or 0.99 hectare.
Ch'ngsan-ni Method, or Ch'ngsan-ri
A personalized, "on-the -spot" management method or spirit reputedly developed by Kim Il Sung in February 1960 during a visit to the Ch'ngsan-ni Cooperative Farm in South P'yngan Province. In addition to important material incentives, the method has three main components: party and government functionaries must eschew their bureaucratic tendency of only issuing orders and directives; they must mingle with farmers and uncover and solve their problems through comradely guidance; and they should give solid technological guidance to spur efficient and productive achievement.
chuch'e, or juche
Political ideology promulgated by Kim Il Sung. The application of Marxism-Leninism to the North Korean experience based on autonomy and self-reliance popularized since 1955 as an official guideline for independence in politics, economics, national defense, and foreign policy.
A political doctrine primarily of Iberian roots, which emphasizes organic, hierarchical politics and analogies with the corporeal body and blood lines.
Demarcation Line
Established under the Korean armistice agreement of 1953; marks the actual cease-fire line between North Korea and South Korea.
Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
The four-kilometer-wide buffer zone that runs east and west across the waist of the Korean Peninsula for 241 kilometers, dividing it into North Korea and South Korea. The DMZ was created by the Korean armistice in 1953.
do, or to
Province, used in combined form, as -do for Kangwn-do Province. There are nine provinces in North Korea. Do also means island, as in Mayang-do.
Chosn Dynasty (1392-1910) foreign policy of isolation adopted after the Japanese invasions in the 1590s.
fiscal year (FY)
Calendar year.
"flunkeyism" (sadaejuui)
The opposite of chuch'e, or excessive dependence on foreign countries--particularly cultural and political dependence on China.
gross domestic product (GDP)
A value measure of the flow of domestic goods and services produced by an economy over a period of time, such as a year. Only output values of goods for final consumption and intermediate production are assumed to be included in the final prices. GDP is sometimes aggregated and shown at market prices, meaning that indirect taxes and subsidies are included; when these indirect taxes and subsidies have been eliminated, the result is GDP at factor cost. The word gross indicates that deductions for depreciation of physical assets have not been made. Income arising from investments and possessions owned abroad is not included, only domestic production--hence the use of the word domestic to distinguish GDP from gross national product (q.v.).
gross national product (GNP)
The gross domestic product (q.v.) plus net income or loss stemming from transactions with foreign countries, including income received from abroad by residents and subtracting payments remitted abroad to nonresidents. GNP is the broadest measurement of the output of goods and services by an economy. It can be calculated at market prices, which include indirect taxes and subsidies. Because indirect taxes and subsidies are only transfer payments, GNP is often calculated at factor cost by removing indirect taxes and subsidies.
The Korean phonetic alphabet developed in fifteenth- century Yi Korea by scholars in the court of King Sejong. This alphabet is used in both North Korea and South Korea; in North Korea it is used exclusively, whereas in South Korea a mixture of the alphabet and Chinese characters is used.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1957 to assist member nations with the development and application of atomic energy for peaceful uses and to foster and monitor a universal standard of nuclear safeguards. Through on-site inspections and monitoring, the IAEA ensures that fissile and related nuclear material, equipment, information, and services are not used to produce nuclear weapons as provided for in bilateral nuclear safeguard agreements between the IAEA and individual member nations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), formally the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Established along with the World Bank (q.v.) in 1945, the IMF is a specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations and is responsible for stabilizing international exchange rates and payments. The main business of the IMF is the provision of loans to its members (including industrialized and developing countries) when they experience balance of payments difficulties. These loans frequently carry conditions that require substantial internal economic adjustments by the recipients, most of which are developing countries.
national solipsism
Term indicating North Korea's isolationism and its sense that it is the center of the world's attentions.
Nordpolitik, or pukbang chngch'aek
The name given to the foreign policy pursued by South Korea since 1984 aimed at improving its diplomatic and economic ties with the former communist nations of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.
The lineage, a kinship unit consisting of all descendants of a common male ancestor who, in many cases, was the founder of a village. Some p'a contain thousands of households-- chip (q.v.)--and members conduct ceremonies at the common ancestral gravesite. In some villages or hamlets in traditional Korea, many or most of the people were members of the same p'a.
Combine music and literary expression in ballad-for stories, which are both recited and sung by a performer accompanied by a drummer who sets the rhythms--a kind of "one-man opera" in the words of one observer.
Ancient Kogury term for "leader"--Kim Il Sung's highest, and usual, title.
Taean Work System
An industrial management system that grew out of the Ch'ngsan- ni Method (q.v.). Introduced in December 1961 by Kim Il Sung while on a visit to the Taean Electrical Appliance Plant, the Taean Work System applied and refined agricultural management techniques to industry. Higher level functionaries assist lower level functionaries and workers in a spirit of close consultation and comradery. Party committees control the general management of factories and enterprises and stress political or ideological work as well as technological expertise. The system allows for material incentives to production.
Three Revolutions
Refers to "ideological, technical, and cultural revolutions" that have been stressed since the early 1960s. The term Three Revolutions was not used, however, until after 1973.
Three Revolutions Team Movement
Inaugurated February 1973 as "a powerful revolutionary method of guidance" for the Three Revolutions (q.v.)-- ideological, technical, and cultural--stressed since the early 1960s. Under this method, the Three Revolutions teams are sent to factories, enterprises, and rural and fishing villages for on-the- spot guidance and problem solving in close consultation with local personnel.
Tonghak (Eastern Learning) Movement
Refers to an indigenous religious movement founded by Ch'oe Che-u in the early 1860s that brought together elements of traditional Korean and Christian religious beliefs and was the antecedent of Ch'ndogyo (q.v.).
North Korean currency, also used as a monetary unit in South Korea although its value differs. The North Korean wn is divided into 100 chon and has multiple exchange rates--such as for official transactions and for commercial rates in most foreign trade. As of December 1991, US$1=97.1 chon.
World Bank
Informal name used to designate a group of four affiliated international institutions that provide advice and assistance on long-term finance and policy issues to developing countries: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The IBRD, established in 1945, has as its primary purpose the provision of loans at market-related rates of interest to developing countries at more advanced stages of development. The IDA, a legally separate loan fund but administered by the staff of the IBRD, was set up in 1960 to furnish credits to the poorest developing countries on much easier terms than those of conventional IBRD loans. The IFC, founded in 1956, supplements the activities of the IBRD through loans and assistance designed specifically to encourage the growth of productive private enterprises in the less developed countries. The president and certain officers of the IBRD hold the same positions in the IFC. The MIGA, which began operating in June 1988, insures private foreign investment in developing countries against various noncommercial risks. The four institutions are owned by the governments of the countries that subscribe their capital. To participate in the World Bank group, member states must first belong to the International Monetary Fund (IMF--q.v.).
The traditional Korean term for the scholar-official gentry who virtually monopolized all official civil and military positions in the bureaucracy of the Yi Dynasty (1392-1910) by competing in a system of civil and military service examinations.