The North Korean authorities are emphasizing the battle against anti-socialist activities to Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) officials in the provinces and have reportedly handed down an order to strengthen their “ideological armor.”
The order was delivered through Q&A-style lecture materials aimed at provincial and county party officials and primary party secretaries, and included an emphasis for them to take the lead in turning the country into a socialist superpower by transforming themselves first.
“The authorities are urging all levels of the party to strengthen their ideological armor in advance of the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) elections next month,” said a South Hamgyong Province-based source, who added that the ideological training for party officials began in earnest right after the Lunar New Year vacation.
“From late last year, there has been a lot of criticism of officials abusing their authority and having an overly-bureaucratic attitude towards the people. The lecture materials have emphasized that cadres themselves need to change first so that they can become the key link between the party and the people,” the source said.
The lecture materials emphasized the idea that cadres must act as role models for the people in ridding the country of corrupt ideologies and practices to support the country’s efforts in developing socialism and the economy.
“The materials point out that the electricity situation has gotten better recently and this has led to more and more people watching South Korean dramas and movies without a sense of wariness,” said the source. “Loyalty toward the party is lost when people fail to follow socialist principles and this ultimately leads them to fall into the trappings of imperialist culture. The party is thus ordering cadres to reject foreign culture.”
The materials also included the following government demands: 1) production of consumer goods for the people must be increased in the light industrial sector to achieve North Korea’s ascendance as a socialist “strong country”; 2) the people must use high-quality products produced in North Korea; and 3) that the entire People’s Army and the people must become one to built the country economically.
The materials also contain a section relating to current events that emphasize developments around unification, saying that “the desire for unification among all Koreans in both Koreas and abroad cannot be stopped” and that “the unification of the motherland is the long-cherished desire of our people.”
“We have learned through the history of the party that the revolution’s successes and socialism itself cannot be protected when the military fails to receive the revolutionary, popular, and political guidance of the party, no matter how strong it is,” the materials further state. “The strength of our military, which is in complete solidarity with the party, is a great symbol of unity that can never be destroyed.”
A separate source in South Hamgyong Province added that the materials “are being used each year to emphasize the ideological principles that cadres should be espousing, but there are more people being punished for anti-socialist activities. The materials are aimed at strengthening the struggle against anti-socialist activities in advance of the elections.”