As they continue to criticize South Korea for its alleged role in the recent ‘Statue Demolition Society’ incident, the North Korean authorities have moved to step up patrols around Kim Il Sung statues and other key ‘revolutionary historical sites’, nominally in order to try and foil any possible attack.
A North Hamkyung Province source told Daily NK on the 23rd, “Last week the Saturday morning lecture in factories, enterprises and in people’s units denounced the vandalism of the ‘Statue Demolition Society’.”
“The lecturers emphasized that there needs to be guard duty around statues, revolutionary research institutes and other historical sites in all districts, and that the guards need to be ready to give their lives for the defense of the sites,” the source added.
Reportedly, city and county Party committees have issued orders in the name of the Party Central Committee Secretariat instructing reservists including the Youth Red Guards, Worker and Peasant Red Guards and other societal organizations to set up special patrols in key areas around historical sites.
The orders instruct that the patrols must focus on Kim Il Sung Statues, Kim Il Sung Revolutionary History Museums, the Towers of Eternal Life that exist in every neighborhood and Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il Revolutionary Ideology Research Institutes. It commands that patrol frequency be doubled, that one-man patrols become two-man, and that night patrols be extended through the day. It adds that towers and study rooms in factory enterprises should be guarded from 7PM to 7AM.
The aim of the exercise, as the weight of recent propaganda across all North Korea’s domestic media reflects, is to enhance the feeling of being under attack, and through that to generate internal solidarity.
However, a great many people are reportedly skeptical about the entire endeavour nevertheless, and not just because, as the source said, “In this heat wave who would want to stand in guard at the statue, unable to go and eat?”
In a connected story, there is a rumor circulating that Jeon Young Chul, the man who stands accused of re-entering North Korea after defection so as to commit the so-called ‘statue terrorism’, is to be executed.
The rumor, which is moving not just between the people but also among members of the security forces, is that the execution will be public.