North Korea Recalls, Edits Official Calendars

According to information from a North Korean trader on January 19, North Korean authorities have recollected some of the calendars that were distributed prior to the death of Kim Jong Il in December, electing to edit the remaining calendars to include propaganda slogans and a new schedule of major events in December.

Authorities made the decision to collect and dispose many of the calendars produced and distributed before the death of Kim Jong Il, ordering Party organizations, enterprises and Local People’s Units to recollect them. However, the government’s decision to take these steps rather than recalling every single calendar is because of the enormous cost of collecting all the calendars and reproducing them.

The trader, who showed one of the edited calendars to Daily NK, said, “At the beginning of last week the propaganda department nominated the LPU leader to visit each home and hand out prints to stick onto their calendar. The people were watched as they posted the print on the calendar.”

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A tribute on the January page of the calendar which previously read “Good Health to the Great Leader Comrade Kim Jong Il” was covered with a sticker saying “Our Great Leader, Comrade Kim Jong Il is with us forever.”

On the cover of its official calendar, North Korea has usually written “Great Suryeong Comrade Kim Il Sung is with us forever,” with the month of January containing gushing propaganda of Kim Jong Il.

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The holiday section for December, located at the bottom-left of the calendar, is now covered by a sticker with the heading ‘Juche 100 (2011) 12.17’, below which is written, ‘Great Leader Comrade Kim Jong Il passed away.’ In the past, only three important dates were marked: Kim Jong Il’s appointment as Supreme Commander (December 24), Kim Jung Suk’s (Kim Jong Il’s mother) birthday (December 24) and Constitution Day (December 27).

The space above the holiday schedule is usually filled with a thumbnail picture, and for December, as with July, the picture is now of Kumsusan Memorial Palace. This is to symbolize the location where the bodies of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il now lie permanently preserved. In addition, February, the month of Kim Jong Il’s birthday, now has a picture of the Jung Il Bong Peak, while April, the month of Kim Il Sung’s birthday, is marked a small picture of his birthplace, Mangyongdae.

According to the trader, a single-page version of the calendar distributed by the North Korean authorities has also been pasted over with a sticker to mark Kim Jong Il’s death.

Kim Jong Eun’s eagerly anticipated recent birthday on January 8 was not specifically marked.

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