North Korean authorities will be issuing special pardons for Kim Il Sung’s 110th birthday anniversary and Kim Jong Il’s 80th birthday anniversary, confirming Daily NK’s report that North Korea would grant special amnesty before the Day of the Shining Star (Kim Jong Il’s birthday) in celebration.

“Amnesty will be granted to those who have sinned and been found guilty before the people and the motherland, to welcome comrade Kim Il Sung’s 110th birthday anniversary and comrade Kim Jong Il’s 80th birthday anniversary,” the Korea Central News Agency reported on Jan. 20.

This was announced through the Supreme People’s Assembly standing committee’s “decree” on Jan. 13. The actual pardons will be granted on Jan. 30, according to state media. 

The decree emphasized that “The people’s trust in our merciful socialist system that leads sinners to a path of rebirth is strengthening, and proud discourse about our one-hearted unity is spreading across our land.”

It appears that North Korea is attempting to promote its regime and instill loyalty in its citizens through these special pardons. 

ri pyong chol
Kim Jong Un at the leadership podium during the Party Foundation Day military parade in Pyongyang on Oct. 10, 2020. / Image: KCNA

In particular, North Korean authorities highlighted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s “love for the people” leadership through the decree, stating that “The people-first policy is being realized across the Party and all state activities in our country thanks to comrade Kim Jong Un’s people-focused and enthusiastic leadership.”

Daily NK reported earlier in January that North Korean authorities would grant special pardons to most inmates at re-education camps and political prison camps overseen by the Ministry of Public Security to celebrate Kim Jong Il’s 80th birthday anniversary.

According to Daily NK’s reporting, North Korea selected recipients of these special pardons in absolute secrecy from early November to mid-December 2021.

North Korean authorities have granted special pardons alongside national holidays in the past and used them as propaganda to promote their regime.

In 2020, the mass special pardon of inmates in re-education camps to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea was used to promote Kim Jong Un’s “love for the people.”

Please direct any comments or questions about this article to

Read in Korean

Seulkee Jang is one of Daily NK's full-time journalists. Please direct any questions about her articles to