Popular Respect for Kim Family at New Low

Domestic North Korean political events have attracted little except criticism and bemusement from the North Korean people.

In a new interview, a Daily NK source gave an example: “In the second meeting of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly on April 9th, a delegate from Hamju in South Hamkyung Province reported that on each cheongbo (9,917m²) paddy they had produced 11 tons of rice, and in similar size fields they had produced 15 tons of grain. However, people said that what he said was all crap.”

Then, he added, “In the same meeting, there was a resolution adopted whereby the Sungkang Steel Mill would guarantee iron for both the construction of 100,000 households in Pyongyang and the Heecheon Power Plant. People reacted to that sarcastically, asking, ‘How can they guarantee those materials when they even import chopsticks from China?’”

“When cadres applauded a report by the Director of the Ministry of Electric Power Industry that power production in 2009 had reached 154% of the plan, people looked down on it too, saying, ‘Puppets! How can they applaud when they have no electricity in their houses?!’”

“Electricity was provided to residential areas of Pyongyang for around two hours a day in May this year and for around five hours in April. This was because electricity was concentrated on the construction of around 100,000 households,” the source explained.

Popular reaction to the latest meeting of the SPA was similar. The source said, “Seeing the promotion of Jang Sung Taek and Choi Young Rim, people said that they didn’t know why the authorities were making that fuss when they are all the same anyway.”

One interesting point is that complaints even extend to the General and his successor.

With respect to Kim Jong Il’s visit to China, the idea that Kim was spurned by the Chinese leaders has been spreading, the source said. People also look upon Kim Jong Eun coldly, he said, asking, “How can a kid rule the country?” or pointing out, “He is a mere puppet, so cadres will be able to squeeze us more tightly.”

A resigned atmosphere is prevalent in terms of the third generation succession, according to the source, who said, “People think it is natural he will inherit power. They don’t have much interest in it.”