The North Korean authorities have now spent more than a month focusing on the case of the so-called ‘Statue Demolition Society’, ramping up patrols in the vicinity of revolutionary historical sites against a group, of which infamous defector Jeon Young Chul is alleged to be a member, that Pyongyang claims intends to attack statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.
The propaganda marathon against Jeon and the society represents an attempt to generate unity behind the regime of Kim Jong Eun through Statue Demolition Society-related propaganda. As such, the authorities have been employing public lectures and the state media to generate fear of outside threats.
Notably, on July 20th, just one day after Jeon appeared at a press conference in Pyongyang to confess to his crimes, the Party Central Committee Secretariat handed down an order to local agencies requiring them to take additional precautions against attacks on revolutionary sites, including statues.
The order announced that patrol frequency must be doubled, that one-man patrols must become two-man, that night patrols must be extended throughout the day, and that towers and study rooms in factory enterprises must be guarded from 7PM to 7AM.
Now, however, the joke is beginning to wear very thin. A source from North Pyongan Province remarked to Daily NK today, “They have been going on so loudly about the ‘Statue Demolition Society’ that it’s making my ears bleed. This whole statue guarding thing has now been going on for more than a month without a break; people are tired and there are plenty of people complaining.”
Not only that; “Because they keep going on about the Statue Demolition Society in the propaganda, the people keep talking about it too. A fair few people are actually deriding the authorities over it when they point out that there is no chance anyone could actually do that.”
Criticism can also be heard along more familiar lines; namely, that living people are having a hard time because of the dead. The source went on, “The statues occupy good locations and even have grass planted around them. Even if they'd built homes just on those pieces of land, they would have been able to house thousands of families.”