North Korean youth and women’s organizations have been holding meetings to elicit a vow of loyalty to Kim Jong Il since mid-August, when he disappeared from public view.
Meanwhile, North Korean media report that Kim Jong Il mails letters and gifts frequently in order to prevent a potentially unstable social situation caused by rumors of his serious illness. These loyalty vow meetings are also a tool by which to emphasize solidarity with the current political system.
Chosun (North Korea) Central News Agency reported on Friday that the Primary Organization Chairmen’s meeting of the Union of Democratic Women was held on the 30th in the People’s Palace of Culture, Pyongyang, at which Party Secretary Kim Jung Rin was present and a further “oath statement” to Kim Jong Il was selected.
The News Agency described the meeting thus, “Chairwoman of the Union of Democratic Women Roh Sung Sil reported their activities, after which they evaluated sub-organizational achievements as led by the leadership of the Party and discussed the duties of the primary organizations’ chairwomen and ways to raise their results.”
The Union of Democratic Women consists of around 200,000 women between 31 and 55 years old who do not have jobs. Women who meet these registration conditions have to affiliate with the Union.
On the 28th, a North Korean representative youth organization, the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League, held its 38th Assembly in order to discuss a way to enact Kim Jong Il’s instruction, “The youths should take the role of vanguard and storm troopers in the hardest fields, to establish a great and strong country,” according to the News Agency.
The Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League was founded on January 17, 1946 and today consists of around five million students, workers and soldiers between 14 and 30. Its role is to act as a rearguard for the Party.
Vice Chairman of the General Federation of Korean Trade Unions, the largest workers’ organization, Kim Sung Cheol said in late September through the Chosun Central News Agency (KCNA) that “The core of the spirit of the thousands of soldiers and people is to firmly support the Leader, so we should put pressure on members to strengthen their spirits.”