What is the DPRK’s general stance on queer issues and the queer community?
LGBTQ issues such as homosexuality or being openly transgender are not explicitly illegal and there are no records of any anti-LGBTQ laws in the DPRK (North Korea), but the government does not support or allow LGBTQ people to be open about their sexuality. Generally, homosexuality is portrayed as vice practiced among Western capitalists, but the typical North Korean would likely be unaware of any sexual orientation other than heterosexuality due to the state’s tightly-controlled media and the limited sexual education available in school. Many defectors routinely state that they had no exposure to the idea of homosexuality or other LGBTQ related issues until arriving in South Korea or the West. However, LGBTQ relationships obviously do exist in the DPRK. Men and women are conscripted into military service for 10 and 5 years respectively and during this time homosexual affairs are quite common. Moreover, the Western-norms of masculinity and femininity are not present in the country. Therefore, close same-sex relationships between unmarried people are quite common and men/women holding hands with each other and showing physical affection towards each other is commonly seen throughout the DPRK – it’s just not conceived of in a sexual way, just as physical affection.