According to a number of The Daily NK’s own sources, North Korea will observe Kim Jong Eun’s birthday on January 8th, but only in the form of events restricted to officials.
One of The Daily NK’s sources from inside North Pyongan Province said on Thursday, “The North Korean authorities will hold lectures regarding the succession and commemorative events on Kim Jong Eun’s birthday, proclaiming it a day of national significance. However, events are not public, but to be held within the Party and military.”
In North Korea, the birthdays of Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Suk are already key national holidays, and they annually trigger events and idolization campaigns on a grand scale. Holding similar events for Kim Jong Eun would mean that North Korea had started idolization for the third generation successor in earnest.
However, this year seems likely to see only closed-door events aimed at raising loyalty towards him among Party officials and the military, which is not surprising considering the low degree of public knowledge about Kim Jong Eun and adverse opinion to the third generation succession itself.
On this subject, Lee Young Hwa, the president of Japanese NGO “Rescue the North Korean People! Urgent Action Network (RENK)” also reported today, “An internal document on ‘holding the first commemorative event for Comrade Kim Jong Eun’ has been handed down.”
According to Lee, “The Central Committee of the Party sent a document, ‘Commemorative Events for Comrade Kim Jong Eun Will Be Held on January 8,’ to each people’s unit on the 6th.”
On Tuesday, North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity (NKIS), an organization run by defectors, exclusively released news of celebrations for Kim Jong Eun’s birthday. However, it now appears that the degree of public celebration will be limited.