North Korean authorities are disseminating the idea that the US and South Korea are purposely spreading COVID-19 into North Korea, a source in South Pyongan Province reported recently. 

“A coronavirus prevention session was held during a recent inminban meeting,” the source told Daily NK on Apr. 29. An inminban is the lowest administrative unit in North Korea, similar to a neighborhood watch. 

The lecturer reportedly told the attendees that the US and South Korea are “spraying the coronavirus on various items” and sending these items into North Korea. 

The lecturer also warned that people should “be alert” and upon discovering any “strange items” they should report it immediately and refrain from touching them, the source added. 

The report provides a glimpse into the regime’s efforts to focus on “ideological education” as the country continues to face economic difficulties due to international sanctions and the closure of the Sino-North Korean border. 

North Korea state media, for its part, continues to emphasize “patriotism” and ideological unity among the country’s people. 

For example, Rodong Sinmun published an editorial on Apr. 29 stating that the main motivator of state development is “the ideological and spiritual strength of the masses.” The article urged that “…all party members and other working people should cherish absolute loyalty to the party and ardent patriotism and fully discharge their responsibilities and duties in the grand revolutionary advance for building a powerful socialist country.”

The entire third page of the Rodong Sinmun on the same day was devoted to a series of articles featuring various examples of “model” propaganda education from around the country conducted by “frontline” propaganda officials. 

Daily NK reported on Apr. 8 that lectures held near the 38th Parallel in Kangwon Province reportedly claimed that South Korea is waging “biological warfare” against North Korea. 

Daily NK also learned of another lecture [article in Korean] held in Hoeryong, North Hamgyong Province, in late March that claimed that South Korean authorities were “spreading” the coronavirus into the country.

*Translated by Violet Kim

Please direct any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.

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Mun Dong Hui is one of Daily NK's full-time journalists. Please direct any questions about his articles to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.