North Korean authorities have been conducting propaganda lectures for citizens to promote North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s recent decision to defer plans for military action against South Korea, Daily NK has learned.

“The propaganda lectures claimed that the South Korean government has adopted a contemplative stance in response to the General’s decision to postpone military action,” a North Korean source told Daily NK on July 2. “The lectures stressed multiple times that [the decision] had left South Korea flustered.” 

CRITICIZING SOUTH KOREA

Kim Jong Un decided to defer the proposal for military action against South Korea at a preliminary meeting of the Central Military Commission on June 23. According to the source, North Korea has been holding public lectures claiming that the South Korean government expressed relief at the decision and is currently going to great lengths to change its North Korea policy.

The lectures were critical of South Korea and broadly said that South Korea has no intention of letting the two Koreas resolve this issue between themselves. The biggest problem is that [South Korea] insists on kowtowing to the US,” the source said, noting, “They [the lecturers] made it clear that the American imperialists and the puppet regime [South Korea] should harbor no illusions of peace.” 

Interestingly, some North Korean people have reportedly been somewhat critical of Kim’s decision, claiming that they knew the plan for military action would be postponed and that North Korea is backing down because the country would lose in a fight.

The source also reported that young people tend to be aware that North Korea’s weapons are no match to weapons possessed by South Korea and the US, but that “slightly older people” think that North Korea might as well go to war in a situation where people are struggling economically. 

Young people, who more frequently come across information from abroad, have a greater understanding about the strategic military advantage held by the US-South Korean alliance, while older people are openly complaining about the difficult living conditions in the country, according to the source.

MORE CRACKDOWNS

The source also told Daily NK that North Korea is putting even more efforts into controlling the flow of information out of the country. 

“There have been severe crackdowns by the authorities,” the source said, adding, “In particular, people caught making phone calls with Chinese mobile phones used to be able to pay a bribe to be let off, but that would be unthinkable now.”

The source said there is a “lot of uneasiness” in the country to the point where people “don’t even dare” switch on their Chinese mobile phones.

North Koreans with family members who have defected to the South are under even more surveillance to prevent them from making contact with their relatives. 

“Newly deployed teams of [Ministry of State Security, MSS] agents from the central and provincial governments are conducting daily checks on when [defector families] received money and how they are able to contact their relatives in the South,” the source said. 

“Agents from municipal MSS offices turned a blind eye to the activities of defector families in the past, but the agents from the central and provincial government don’t accept bribes,” the source continued, adding, “Family members of defectors are having a really difficult time these days.”

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

Read in Korean

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