July dubbed ‘month of tears’ by weary residents

Many North Korean residents in Yangkang Province have coined
July the “month of tears” to vent frustrations regarding frequent, forced
mobilizations to which they are subjected amid struggling to recover from the
lean season.

the exact origins of the phrase “July is the month of tears” remains unknown,
it has taken off as an extremely popular expression among vendors and citizens,”
a source in Yangkang Province reported to Daily NK on July 23rd.

An additional source in the region verified the expression’s frequent usage and origin.

This phrase, she added, perfectly describes
how residents had to “shed tears during the mourning period for the Suryeong
[Kim Il Sung], weep over the lack of food during the lean season, and cry as
they sweat and toil under the relentless sun to fulfill mobilization orders. 

Despite the heightened anxiety residents
face in trying to get by during the lean season, exacerbated by this year’s
severe drought, people were called to participate in political events
venerating the country’s founder amid orders to fertilize and weed collective

Further compounding this were the forced offerings of meat and cash
residents must present to veterans to mark the signing of the Korean War
armistice agreement on July 27, which North Korea celebrates as the “Day of
Victory in the Fatherland Liberation War,” or “Victory Day,” 

Moreover, “because of the upcoming 70th
anniversary of the Workers’ Party foundation , North Koreans are
feeling pressure from increasing load of work which includes building
sculptures, cleaning up cities, and (countryside) campaigns. There are a lot of
people who say that the phrase ‘month of tears’ gives them some relief since it
illustrates their frustration and dissatisfaction with the number of political
campaigns and labor participation,” the source explained.

She added that as the mourning
period of Kim Il Sung’s death [July 8th] approached, North Koreans were called
to guard the Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il statues and other idolization
relics ubiquitous throughout the country. This took place in conjunction
with compost collection for the new sowing season and participation in
ideological study sessions,

only does July deal the largest blow to people’s livelihoods, this year, on top
of all the aforementioned work, it overlapped with the local elections and
comes ahead of the 70th anniversary of the Workers’ Party foundation, making it
even more mentally and physically demanding than other years,” the source added.

She noted that these directives simply add the the growing sources of ire that could eventually push people over the edge. “As Kim Jong Un’s attempts to
regulate people with mandatory idolization projects and compulsory mobilization
continue to increase in scale, so will the discontent from residents about
those in power,” he concluded.

*The content of this article was broadcast to the North Korean people via Unification Media Group.