Kim’s image continues to tumble

On the heels of minister of the People’s Armed Forces [MPAF] Hyon Yong Chol’s execution, sources within the country report
a growing mistrust of Kim Jong Un’s political approach among many residents, who harbor more concerns than hopes for the fate of the country under the fledgling leader. 

“People say that considering the fact that
Kim had executed dozens of high-ranking officials within the few years since
coming to power, ‘there’s no hope left.’ Kim’s popularity among citizens has
rapidly declined,” a source in South Pyongan Province told Daily NK through a
phone call on May 31st.

As news of purges and executions continues
to circulate among residents not only in Pyongyang but to outside areas, people
take the opportunity to criticize the leader among trusted family and friends.
“He’s even worse than his father,” is a particularly common comment among them,
according to the source.

As previously reported by Daily NK, the North Korean authorities are trying to clamp down on any talk of Hyon Yong Chol’s execution to quash more rumors from bubbling to the surface and exploding across the population.

Talk of the leader himself, however, persists on. “In a political lecture for citizens held
this year, footage of Kim Jong Il declaring his son to be a successor “ten
times superior” to himself was incorporated. Many have mocked this, saying, “This superior
figure is purging officials left and right? Hope is lost on him,” she said.

She added that residents once compared the Kim Jong Il to the unpredictable, spontaneous weather of Baekdu Mountain; now, however, they are revisiting the allegory to point out that “a person ten times that character all but ensures a despondent
population.”

A different source in North Pyongan Province confirmed these reports, adding that unlike the Kim Jong Il era, “officials in rural regions and Ministry of People’s Security [MPS] agents are
far more inclined to air grievances more publicly regarding the leadership. “Not only residents but even Party cadres sneer when they see footage broadcast
idolizing the leader.” he said. “Many just say, ‘this sucks,’ and switch off the TV.”

Similar sentiments are shared among the
student population, this source added, who mock classmates sporting hairstyles
similar to the leader, calling it a “gangster” cut, embodying Kim
Jong Un’s “temperamental ways.” The source of the joke often fires back–again, sarcastically–“How dare you mock him?”

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

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