|▲ One of many images of Kim Jong Eun surrounded by emotional children taken by the North Korean media during 66th anniversary celebrations for the Chosun Children’s Union earlier this month. (© KCNA) |
Suspicions that the process of selection for recent events in Pyongyang to commemorate the 66th anniversary of the Chosun Children’s Union would become mired in corruption have been confirmed, leading the Central Chosun Workers’ Party to dispatch investigation teams to the provinces to look into allegations of impropriety.
The Childrens’ Union celebrations took place between June 3rd and 6th, with more than 20,000 children from around North Korea selected to travel by special train to Pyongyang to take part. The events in the North Korean capital culminated with an event at Kim Il Sung Stadium during which Kim Jong Eun made his second public speech.
A source from the border city of Shinuiju told Daily NK on the 27th, “As soon as suspicions that cadres had taken substantial bribes in the process of selecting representatives to attend the Pyongyang events started being voiced, a Central Party investigation ‘gruppa’ was formed and came down to the regions to launch an investigation.”
The investigating ‘gruppa’, as investigation teams in North Korea are often known, is made up of core cadres from the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League, which, as the Chosun Workers’ Party arm responsible for youth activities, oversees the activities of the Chosun Children’s Union.
The source went on, “It includes some parents who entered complaints of unfairness to the Central Party because, even though they had bribed the cadres, their children were not selected as Children’s Union representatives. In particular, once a rumor that attendees were being given accordions or notebook computers by the Central Party as gifts started going around, parents of kids who had failed to be selected could no longer stand it.”
With Kim Jong Eun seeking to bed in his regime and establish a measure of public trust, and with the regime having put Kim Jong Eun forward as the champion of the North Korean young in its propaganda narrative, persons found guilty of corruption related to the Children’s Union events are likely to meet serious punishment.
According to the Shinuiju source, “Cadres who committed crimes in selecting the Children’s Union representatives basically stained the reputation of a ‘No.1 Event’, an event directly convened by the supreme leader. Comrade Kim Jong Eun invited the Children’s Union representatives, so can you imagine it being OK for cadres to secretly change the attendance list?”