The authorities have sentenced a party secretary in his fifties with the surname Park to an eight-year sentence of reeducation through labor, Daily NK has learned.

A source in North Hwanghae Province told Daily NK on Apr. 28 that Park received his sentence during a public trial against him held at the Sariwon Football Stadium on Apr. 17.

Park is accused of “sexual abuse of authority.” In one instance, he repeatedly sexually harassed a second-year university student surnamed Choi and also sexually assaulted her. 

The authorities launched an investigation into Park after the student submitted a petition. The provincial party committee urged investigators to be careful and thorough in their search, claiming that the case is a part of their “battle against anti-socialism and non-socialism.” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un emphasized this fight during the Apr. 8 closing ceremony of the Eighth Conference of Cell Secretaries.

Rice planting in North Hwanghae Province
Rice planting in North Hwanghae Province. / Image: Rodong Sinmun

On Apr. 12, the province’s Ministry of Social Security quickly arrested Park and conducted an investigation. The probe uncovered other problematic behavior such as bribery, but Park’s sexual exploitation and adultery issues were the main points of contention.

The investigation showed that Park sexually harassed and assaulted more than forty students and had been in adulterous relationships with around ten women.

Approximately 3,000 students from a technical university, a teacher’s college, and a high school in Sariwon attended Park’s trial. The authorities appear to have conducted the trial in public to show that “the law still lives” and encourage internal solidarity despite North Korea’s worsening economic difficulties.

“Because the Supreme Leader himself ordered a cleanup operation, the judiciary authorities have to move fast to survive in this ‘war to show loyalty,’ the source said. “It’s not just government officials who are on high alert – regular people are, too.”

*Translated by S & J

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