Published online by Cambridge University Press: 19 February 2002
An account of the use and teaching of English in one of the world's most isolated and reclusive states.
An introduction, and a brief history of English in Korea before independence from Japan in 1945, then in post–1945 North Korea, followed by a discussion first of how North Korea's ideological and political imperatives gave rise to the elimination of English from the school curriculum, then of the subsequent reinstatement and promotion of the language. In North Korea English is taught not so much as the global lingua franca but as a means of idolizing Kim Il Sung and to promote his brand of Communist ideology. The article closes with brief comments on the future of English in North Korea.