Corruption in North Korea is a widespread and growing problem in North Korean society. North Korea is ranked 174 out of 180 countries in Transparency International's 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index (tied with Yemen and Afghanistan). The 180 countries of the Index are ranked according to the perceived corruption in the public sector; the country whose public sector is perceived to be most corrupt is ranked 180th.[1] Strict rules and draconian punishments imposed by the regime, for example, against accessing foreign media or for modifying radio or television receivers to access foreign media, are commonly evaded by offering bribes to the police. Informing on colleagues and family members has become less common.[2]

North Korea's state media admitted widespread corruption in North Korea, when laying out the accusations against Jang Song-thaek after his execution in December 2013. The statement mentions bribery, deviation of materials, selling resources and land, securing funds and squandering money for private use by organizations under his control.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Corruptions Perceptions Index 2021 for Korea, North". Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  2. ^ Nat Kretchun; Jane Kim (10 May 2012). "A Quiet Opening: North Koreans in a Changing Media Environment" (PDF). InterMedia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 May 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012. The primary focus of the study was on the ability of North Koreans to access outside information from foreign sources through a variety of media, communication technologies and personal sources. The relationship between information exposure on North Koreans' perceptions of the outside world and their own country was also analyzed.
  3. ^ "What North Korea Said About Jang Song Thaek". The Wall Street Journal. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.