disease control kimchi
Doctors at a hospital in Sinuiju, North Pyongan Province, discussing ways to deal with ways to deal with the outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus. / Image: Rodong Sinmun

Daily NK Snapshots are synopses of select articles from our Korean website. Snapshots provide a window into the Daily NK’s reporting—domestic news items that are primarily intended for a North Korean audience given their lack of an independent, objective source of information—and into everyday life and society within North Korea for international audiences.

Growing Party Influence Over the Military

The WKP influence over the military is once again being expanded through newly announced measures. Kim Jong Un has ordered every military unit in the country to be sent a 5-phase “project plan” set up by the General Political Bureau to implement goals set forth in last year’s WKP Plenary Meeting. The first stage of the plan will be launched in April and the last stage will be completed by Dec. 30. The results of the plan are expected to be reported to the WKP Central Committee and then be further evaluated. It is believed that these measures will increase the party’s control over the entire military by increasing censorship in the military, promoting stronger party loyalty, and emphasizing the study of revolutionary ideas and ideological struggle.

Full article in Korean by Jeong Tae Joo here.

Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il Badges Skyrocket in Price

The prices of Kim Il Sung-Kim Jong Il honorary awards have been increasing recently. Well-off parents have been buying up many of these prizes, which come in the form of badges, to try and give their children a better chance at succeeding in society and boost their careers. The price of four awards has already risen USD 1,500 compared to last year. Parents buy these honor badges on the black market and the recent spike in interest has translated into more expensive prices. The reason why the rich are concerned with such seemingly trivial prizes for their kids is that they are well aware that they could lose their status in society and that money is conditional on having favor with the government and the right connections. Their hope is that these prizes will help their kids get respectable jobs that will keep them in favor with government authorities.

Full article in Korean by Ha Yoon Ah here

Travel Ban on North Korean Students Studying Abroad in China Extended

A travel ban has once again been extended affecting North Korean students who study abroad in China. The students will be able to leave for China late April at the earliest or early May at the latest, a Pyongyang source told Daily NK. Even though many of these students have been attending online lectures at their respective North Korean universities for the time being, Chinese universities are refusing to recognize such classes. Other students are concerned because they borrowed money from Chinese friends and have yet to pay them back. Although the state pays for the study abroad tuition expenses of those students that previously studied in Pyongyang, it is every student’s own responsibility to pay for living expenses. Not being able to pay back such debts is causing much anxiety among many students.

Full article in Korean by Ha Yoon Ah here

*Summaries by Gabriela Bernal

Please direct any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.