Graffiti criticizing the upcoming 7th Party
Congress has surfaced in Hyesan, Ryanggang Province, prompting officials within
the State Security Department to launch an investigation into who was behind
the act, Daily NK has learned.
“On Sunday, SSD personnel suddenly showed
up at inminban (people’s unit), state-run factories, and schools, demanding
everyone present to submit handwritten samples containing a few song phrases
and lines from a poem,” a source from Ryanggang Province told Daily NK on
“People were really taken aback by the
sudden request but it soon made sense when the graffiti connection was made.
Most have kept quiet on the issue, well aware of the severe consequences that
would unfurl if they were to be accused of talking about political issues and
put in the wrong light.”
Additional sources in Ryanggang Province corroborated this news.
While collecting the handwriting samples,
the SSD officials emphasized the case has been classified as “espionage”.
Especially given the fact that the Party Congress has not been held for 36
years and is occurring for the first time under the orders of Kim Jong Un, any
criticism of it can be seen as an act of subversion.
What is notable is the degree of concern
security officials are showing with regards to the possibility of rumors
spreading. Similar incidents in the past have typically led to public lectures
on “stepping up revolutionary awareness” in the face of “anti-Party,
anti-revolutionary agitators,” but none have yet taken place.
The tight security has prompted quiet
gossip on what exactly the graffiti said and where it was found, leading many
to believe that the nature of the incident must be “out of the ordinary,” and
fueling more speculation that the writings must have directly attacked the
regime or the “highest dignity” (Kim Jong Un) himself, claimed the source.