North Korean Social Hierarchy

North Korea is an East Asian country which is a one party state. This country has gradually distanced itself from the rest of the world and follows Songun or military first policy wherein maximum power is enjoyed by those who are military professionals. The society is divided into three different classes, which are unlike those in most other countries. People are put into classes from birth and the social division system is also considered unjust at times. To understand the social hierarchy of North Korea, you can go through the following given information.

North Korean social hierarchy


This is considered to be the first class in the North Korean society.  This is the class in which people belong to wealthy families and lead a comfortable lifestyle throughout their life.  They are merchants, land owners, industrialists and are usually pro-Japan and pro-USA.  The reason why this section of the society is also dubbed as grapes is because they are the hostile class and politically unredeemable. This class also consists of expelled party members, Catholics, Buddhists, expelled public offenders, spies, North Korean political prisoners and members of the Democratic Party. These individuals are anti-government and do not fear showing their discontent.


This is the second highest class in the North Korean royal society and is one which consists of people from families of small businesses and merchants. This class has people who are in professions like small factory owners, artisans, medium service traders among others. This class also consists of unaffiliated persons belonging to North Korea and families of those people who went to the south. Wavering class is the class of the national capitalists and of those intellectuals who trained before national liberation. This class is referred to as the apples because they are only red on the outside and not inside. This class wavers between the government and away from it and is equally divided into loyalists of both the sides.


This is the third social class according to North Korea caste system and is one which consists of people from the families of labourers, hired peasants and poor farmers and administrative and clerical workers from Yi dynasty and Japanese occupation. The core or loyal class are the loyalists of the government like revolutionary intellects, servicemen’s families, those recruited as government or military staff, those recruiter as party staff and some others. They are red both from the outside and inside and this is why they are referred to as tomatoes.