North Korea Bans Carrying Bags on One Shoulder Because That's How They Do It in Its Rival Country, South Korea

By Trisha Andrada

Apr 06, 2024 07:17 AM EDT

North Korea has banned carrying a bag with a strap on one shoulder because that's how they do it in its rival country, South Korea. 

North Koreans who carry a bag over one shoulder are stopped and lectured by patriot patrols about not mimicking South Koreans.
(Photo : Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

North Korea Bans Carrying Bags on One Shoulder

North Koreans caught wearing a bag hanging over just one shoulder are reportedly being stopped and given a lecture by patriot patrols about not imitating the people in South Korea as it is un-socialist.

According to Radio Free Asia, students who were found violating the policy have had their bags seized or even been expelled from school in some cases. In the most extreme cases, The Telegraph reported that repeat offenders are even being sent to labor camps.

A resident of South Hamgyong province told RFA that a college student from Hamhung Medical University was the first case of a crackdown on college students for how they carry bags.

"A patrol organised by the Socialist Patriotic Youth League cracked down on a college student who wore a bag hanging by their side at the main gate of Hamhung Medical University," the resident told the outlet.

Sources also told RFA that people in North Korea are told that true socialists carry their bags on the back with straps over both shoulders or hold them using one hand.

Read Next: North Korea Junks All Economic Cooperation Deals With South Korea as Kim Jong Un Claims Legal Right to Destroy South

South Korea's Alleged Influence on Younger People in North Korea

North Korean youths like to express their individuality through their bags. However, many young people in North Korea are reportedly influenced by South Korean TV shows and movies, which are illegal for them to watch.

A source confirmed to RFA that "college students prefer to wear shoulder bags with long straps on their side because they often watch South Korean TV shows."

The source from South Pyongan province added that officials announced at the opening ceremony for a teacher training college in Pyongsong that anyone seen carrying a bag over one shoulder would be punished "for spreading the culture of the South Korean puppets," a derogatory term for its southern neighbor that implies its strong ties to the United States.

Read More: US, South Korea Form New Task Force to Block North Korea Oil Shipments

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