As North Korea celebrated the 70th anniversary of its founding on September 9, the authorities handed down an order for lectures that place emphasis on the country’s “successful attainment of nuclear weapons” and [North Korea] as a “nuclear superpower.” Although the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, has emphasized to the international community his intent to denuclearize, the domestic focus is on propaganda emphasizing nuclear weapons and the country’s status as a nuclear power.
“The authorities ordered that lectures be held during the second week of September as the country celebrates the 70th anniversary of its founding among government officials, Party members and labor study groups,” said a Pyongyang-based source on September 13.
“The 15-page lecture summary highlighted the history of the DPRK, which has walked a glorious path as a bastion of invincible socialism and a fortress of self-reliance due to the Suryong’s great leadership.”
The lecture summary obtained by Daily NK emphasized that Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un put into place the principles of self-reliance and implemented the demands and interests of the masses, and presented specific examples of the policy decisions that the leaders made to strengthen the country’s military power.
In a section of the summary that emphasized North Korea as a “military superpower,” the following was said: “The Dear, Supreme Leader and Comrade [Kim Jong Un] led the fight to the death from the frontlines to considerably expand and strengthen the country’s self-reliance-based defense capabilities through the focus on nuclear weapons,” later adding that “by gloriously achieving the great task of obtaining nuclear weapons [North Korea] now stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the nuclear superpowers and the great strategic powers of the world.”
North Korea did not exhibit ICBMs or SLBMs during its military parade on September 9 and refrained from criticizing the US. Some analysts have suggested that this shows the country “intends to denuclearize.” However, North Korea is still placing a domestic propaganda emphasis on nuclear weapons.
“The US imperialists and enemy forces are spreading impure ideological toxins into our country and using all methods at their disposal to spread anti-socialism domestically […] These activities are aimed at paralyzing the revolutionary and class-based consciousness of the people to turn them into ideologically-incapable beings and to destroy our style of socialism,” the lecture summary also claimed.
Through these lectures, North Korea is aiming to highlight the leadership and policy-making expertise of the dynastic regime stretching from Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il to Kim Jong Un. While encouraging absolute loyalty to the socialist system, Suryong and state, North Korea is also aiming to strengthen ideological fervor and internal cohesion among its people.
The lecture summary places an emphasis on the Suryong’s “moral politics” and “love for the people” through an example of Kim Il Sung visiting the relatives of a person who fled to South Korea. The relatives, who lived in South Hwanghae Province and believed they were being discriminated against, shed tears after hearing Kim Il Sung state to them that he had come to meet them because he was worried about them living “with a father and husband.”
The lecture goes on to reference Ryomyong Street and the Masikryong Ski Resort, projects completed after Kim Jong Un came to power. The summary explained that “the North Korean people are enjoying to the fullest extent civilization that the entire world envies on luxury streets and modern cultural service centers. Only those in the wealthy class in other countries can enjoy such things.”
Also clearly intended is the strengthening of solidarity toward the regime with the statement that “enemy forces are now making a fuss about some kind of ‘human rights issue’ and severely criticizing our system, but the entirety of our people have a belief in socialism deep in their hearts that continues to harden.”
“Our Dear Supreme Leader has raised the dignity and status of our Republic through a whirlwind of activity abroad and has brought about ever greater successes while making the entire people proud,” the summary adds.
“All officials, Party members, and workers must achieve ultimate victory in the great task of socialism by focusing all their efforts on the struggle to achieve the Party’s new strategic line [policy].”
Daily NK previously reported that authorities in the country held multiple lectures before the September 9 celebrations, which included the statement, “The country has met a new era of unification in accordance with Kim Jong Un’s plans that follow the legacies of the great Suryongs (Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il).”