North Korea has reportedly spent 2 billion
USD in relation to the 70th anniversary of Party Foundation Day, infuriating
people who have learned of this news through public lectures, Daily NK has
“In a recent lecture for residents,
officials told people that the authorities had spent nearly 2 billion USD just in
related supplies for the event,” a source from South Pyongan Province told
Daily NK on Thursday. “People seem mostly appalled that they would promote this
fact when the country has already seen massive losses from halting all
state-run factories in Pyongyang and across most parts of the country because
of event preparations.”
Additional sources in North and South
Hamgyong Provinces verified this news.
Further shocking the public was the
collection of ‘loyalty donations’ for this lavish celebration, leading some
cadres to dub the event a ‘festival of disgrace’ to underscore the related
economic and political damage.
“Complaints from soldiers and students are
significant as well, since they’ve suffered day and night both physically and
mentally from endless training for the military parade for months,” he
“Residents have said the event has brought
in gains as small as mice but losses as large as oxen.”
Many female soldiers and students who were
mobilized for the parade ended up with pleurisy, joint inflammation, and other
conditions and were swapped out during training. According to the source, the
state offered no compensation for treatment for these soldiers and simply sent
them back home for one or two months of “nutritional assistance.”
Moreover, he asserted that the amount of
diesel and gasoline enabling the vehicles to lumber along in the parade was far
and beyond the quantity poured into other events. “In order to ensure the
success of the event, not only did they use fuel from related military units,
they also scraped together war supplies stashed in Pyongyang’s Ryongsong
district. Emergency fuel supplies are near depletion,” he explained.
Speakers at the public address were busy
promoting the country’s event in size and costs involved in comparison to China
and Russia and what it means in terms of national strength. This, the source elaborated, was counterproductive, serving only to fuel the fire of an already disgruntled audience.
Consequently, North Koreans have been
comparing the recent celebration to the West Sea floodgate construction project
from back in the 1980s, which involved 500 million USD. They have expressed
their disbelief that the state would flush down 2 billion in foreign currency
— incomparable to the West Sea floodgate project — for the event, he said.
People are well aware that maintenance of
company housing, school buildings, gates, roads, and flower beds alone would have
involved large sums of money, which would have no question come from the public
rather than empty state coffers.
The math is simple for residents, who say among themselves that an additional 100 million USD a year could go a long way in ensuring that the entire population was properly fed. The fact that the authorities blew 20 times this figure–that
is, according to the estimates circulating among citizens, the equivalent of 20 years of potential food security for a largely impoverished population–
on one event has “ignited fury” among many residents, the source concluded.
*The content of this article was broadcast to the North Korean people via Unification Media Group.