[imText1]Yanji, China — It has been noticeable since last year’s Chosun Workers’ Party Delegates Conference that the North Korean authorities have been trying particularly hard to crack down on what they brand ‘anti-socialist phenomena’.
Now, The Daily NK has confirmed the existence of this initiative to control information circulation in the form of an education document for Party cadres, ‘On thoroughly eliminating anti-socialist phenomena in every area of community life’.
The 15-page document appears to have been published by the Chosun Workers’ Party’s own publishing house in advance of the Party Delegates’ Conference in September last year for circulation by the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers’ Party.
In it, the Party states three broad goals: “We must pull out the roots of individualism and selfishness, and firmly arm ourselves with group awareness”; “We must thoroughly eliminate the illusion of money and the illusion of foreign currency”: “We must battle fiercely against the invasion of imperialist ideology and culture.”
The document even outlines the schedule and approach which should be adopted for lectures on the subject, ordering that Party cadres receive a 90-minute and Party members and laborers a 60-minute lecture on these ‘anti-socialist phenomena’ occurring both in the community and in their specific work area, methods of discovering those phenomena and ways of eliminating them.
“You must find and explicate cases of the phenomenon of failing to concentrate on the revolutionary mission and trading for the purposes of earning money; the phenomenon of diverting state organ and enterprises’ materials and products or focusing solely on the organ, the phenomenon of working-age women who fail to attend work in order to trade etc.”
It states, “Now, cadres and laborers are getting caught up in the illusion of money and foreign currency, meaning that their economic activities, morals, and worse still their ideology, are lacking.”
This frank admission of the problems being caused by illicit capitalist trade and the need to stop it are clear evidence of the worries felt by the authorities.
It states, “We must absolutely not allow the selling in markets of items which encroach upon the state or public good, including those which spread undesirable trends, products produced by state factories and enterprises, products unhygienic or otherwise threatening to human health.”
“Transferring imported goods to private traders and earning money through their sale in the market on the part of trade and foreign currency earning enterprises, which also helps the market to develop, must be eliminated, and selling by the entire state sector must be reinvigorated.”
Again, later, it reaffirms, “The phenomena of promoting the transferring of products to private traders, thereby earning money secretly and promoting this secret trade, must be thoroughly eliminated.”
This, the documents claim, are serious issues because the outside world is striving to undermine the socialist system of the country, with the ‘imperialists’ ideological and cultural invasion capturing the people and leaving them “ugly beings knowing nothing but themselves and nothing but money, an animalistic existence.”
Elsewhere, the document also attacks the circulation of foreign information, asserting, “Here the important thing is to thoroughly eliminate the circulation of, watching of and listening to of these foul recordings. In particular, we must avert the eyes of housewives and young people.”
The circulation of such information, it alleges, must be stopped “so as not to become tangled in the enemies’ psychological scheming” and to cease the “circulation of capitalist ideology and culture.”
To which end, it concludes, “The role and responsibility of the Party and enterprise cadres must be enhanced, while community watch guards and security under people’s units must be strengthened.”