The North Korean authorities have recently held more public lectures to warn the people that individuals who leak national secrets to the outside world face serious punishment, even using South Korean news reporting to illustrate the threat level.
A source from Hoiryeong in North Hamkyung Province told Daily NK on the 9th, “There was a lecture recently in which they read us a South Chosun newspaper report that included Chosun market prices, the contents of meetings and official orders, and told us we must be more alert to the leaking of state secrets.”
“The lecturer said that as soon as the market price of rice goes up these impure elements let the outside world know by phone and the next day it turns up in South Chosun newspapers,” the source explained. “He said that inaccurate information does damage to our socialist majesty, and called on us to fight against it.”
“These impure elements are prepared to leak our news on demand and for just a few pence,” the lecturer reportedly added. “Enemies who want to bring about the collapse of the Republic are using it for their underhand propaganda.”
“Those impure sorts who are selling off our information in this way will be harshly judged by the people,” he apparently warned.
The lecture appears to be an extension of a process of cracking down on information flows in and out that went on throughout 2012, characterized by Kim Jong Eun’s visit to the headquarters of the National Security Agency in the second half of the year. However, while such lectures have become relatively common, directly referring to the contents of South Korean media reports is unheard of.
Another source who attended a similar meeting in Pyongyang said similar things are happening there, explaining, “The lecturer instructed us that ‘the South Chosun propaganda tools are frantically looking to obtain information that is defamatory to our socialist system. They will spread absolutely anything in order to divide our beautiful society.’
“The reality in Chosun is distorted by these impure elements and circulated to South Chosun and the imperialists,” the source also cited the lecturer as saying.