The requirements for becoming a citizen of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are defined by the Law on Nationality. A citizen is under the protection of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea regardless of domicile.
In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea the rights and duties of citizens are based on the collectivist principle: “One for all and all for one.”
The State shall effectively guarantee the genuine democratic rights and freedoms as well as the material and cultural well-being of all its citizens. In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea the rights and freedoms of citizens shall be amplified with the consolidation and development of the socialist system.
Citizens enjoy equal rights in all spheres of State and public activity.
All citizens who have reached the age of 17 have the right to elect and to be elected, irrespective of sex, race, occupation, length of residence, property status, education, party affiliation, political views or religious belief. Citizens serving in the armed forces also have the right to elect and to be elected. A person who has been disenfranchised by a Court decision and a person legally certified insane do not have the right to elect or to be elected.
Citizens are guaranteed freedom of speech, the press, assembly, demonstration and association. The State shall guarantee the conditions for the free activities of democratic political parties and social organizations.
Citizens have freedom of religious belief. This right is granted through the approval of the construction of religious buildings and the holding of religious ceremonies. Religion must not be used as a pretext for drawing in foreign forces or for harming the State or social order.
Citizens are entitled to submit complaints and petitions. The State shall investigate and deal with complaints and petitions impartially as stipulated by law.
Citizens have the right to work. All able-bodied citizens may choose occupations in accordance with their wishes and skills and are provided with stable jobs and working conditions. Citizens work according to their abilities and are paid in accordance with the quantity and quality of their work.
Citizens have the right to relaxation. This right is ensured by the establishment of working hours, and the provision of holidays, paid leave, accommodation at health resorts and holiday homes at State expense and by a growing network of cultural facilities.
Citizens are entitled to free medical care, and all persons who are no longer able to work because of old age, illness or physical disability, and seniors and minors who have no means of support are all entitled to material assistance. This right is ensured by free medical care, an expanding network of hospitals, sanatoria and other medical institutions, State social insurance and other social security systems.
Citizens have the right to education. This right is ensured by an advanced educational system and by the educational measures enacted by the State for the benefit of the people.
Citizens are free to engage in scientific, literary and artistic pursuits. The State shall grant benefits to inventors and innovators. Copyrights, inventions and patents shall be protected by law.
Citizens have freedom of residence and travel.
Revolutionary fighters, the families of revolutionary and patriotic martyrs, the families of soldiers of the People’s Army and soldiers disabled on duty enjoy the special protection of the State and society.
Women are accorded equal social status and rights with men. The State shall afford special protection to mothers and children by providing maternity leave, reduced working hours for mothers with several children, a wide network of maternity hospitals, creches and kindergartens, and other measures. The State shall provide all conditions for women to play their full roles in society.
Marriage and the family shall be protected by the State. The State pays great attention to consolidating the family, the basic unit of social life.
Citizens are guaranteed inviolability of the person and the home, and privacy of correspondence. No citizen can be placed under control or arrest nor can a citizen’s home be searched without a legal warrant.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea shall grant the right of asylum to foreign nationals persecuted for struggling for peace and democracy, national independence and socialism or for the freedom of scientific and cultural pursuits.
Citizens shall firmly safeguard the political and ideological unity and solidarity of the people. Citizens shall cherish their organization and collective and work devotedly for the good of society and the people.
Citizens shall strictly observe the laws of the State and the socialist standards of life and defend their honour and dignity as citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Work is the noble duty and honour of a citizen. Citizens shall willingly and conscientiously participate in work and strictly observe labour discipline and working hours.
Citizens shall take good care of the property of the State and social, cooperative organizations, combat all forms of misappropriation and waste and manage the nation’s economy diligently as the masters. The property of the State and social, cooperative organizations is inviolable.
Citizens shall constantly increase their revolutionary vigilance and devotedly fight for the security of the State.
National defence is the supreme duty and honour of citizens. Citizens shall defend the country and serve in the armed forces as required by law.