North Korea citizen lectures emphasize ‘protection of the motherland’

Excerpt from lecture material. Image: Daily NK

A lecture delivered by the North Korean authorities to Korean Workers’ Party (WPK) members and workers placed emphasis on the duty of North Korean citizens and the protection of the motherland. The lecture was conducted after the inter-Korean summit was agreed to be held in Pyongyang in mid-September, suggesting that it was aimed at preventing ideological drift and raising solidarity toward the regime.

“A lecture was conducted for Party members and workers in late August that emphasized that residents of the Republic [the DPRK] must fulfill their duties,” a North Korean source told Daily NK on September 17. “The emphasis of the lecture was on clearly understanding the main points of the ‘rojak’ and realizing those main points in the course of work and life.”

Rojak refers to books on traditional ideology and theory created by Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. The lecture noted a statement made by Kim Jong Il in 2002 to high-level officials in the WPK’s Central Committee: “Let’s ensure the Republic’s citizens have a self-awareness about themselves as citizens and perform their duties.”  

The lecture materials, which were obtained by Daily NK, state that Party members and workers have “holy duties” as citizens and that citizens must actively protect the motherland in order to fulfill their duties as citizens.

“The protection of the motherland is the greatest expression of loyalty toward the fulfilling of the duties of citizenship,” the document states.  “The act of thinking of the fate of the motherland above oneself and devoting oneself to protecting the motherland must become the most noble thing that all citizens strive to accomplish.”

The lecture materials also demand that the younger generation take the reins of the country’s future and must devote themselves to the country.

“Young people must spend their youth at the forefront of protecting the motherland,” the lecture materials read. “[Young people] must consider protecting the country as the highest honor and must accept the entirety of the Party’s ideology that prioritizes the military.”

The statements suggest that the North Korean authorities are concerned that the atmosphere of peace on the Korean Peninsula may damage the “jangmadang (market) generation” ideologically, given that they are susceptible to [believing] information from the outside world.

The particular emphasis placed on “ideology that prioritizes the military” also appears to be an attempt to warn the general population that North Korea has no intention on giving up its nuclear arsenal.

Daily NK reported on September 14 that the North Korean authorities handed down an order concerning the holding of a lecture before the September 9 celebrations (for the founding of the country) that emphasized the “achievement of obtaining nuclear weapons” and North Korea’s status as a “nuclear superpower.”

The lecture materials also emphasized that North Koreans should live their lives in a socialist manner. The emphasis on them “fulfilling their duties as citizens” appears to be aimed at tightening ideological control.

“The citizens have a duty to respect the laws of the country and self-consciously protect them,” the document states. “They are aimed at establishing order in society and govern the actions that everyone should be following.”

Moreover, the lecture materials note that “all members of society should follow the laws and regulations of the country self-consciously and take actions outside of the law”.

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