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Friday, May 31, 2024

N. Korea’s monitoring of political tendencies won’t work

In late April, North Korea’s ruling party ordered all organizations to place the highest priority on monitoring trends among the general public, and among students and young people in particular.

A source in South Pyongan Province said that the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the provincial party committee had ordered officials to bear in mind the importance and urgency of monitoring public trends and to track and report every movement among students and young people with fresh determination and vision.

As a result, spot checks of mobile phones at schools and workplaces have become a routine occurrence. 

The Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) made the following remarks in a second seminar for officials responsible for propaganda operations. “We must strive to obtain a high political consciousness and a broad skill set with a firm resolution to take responsibility, before the Party and the fatherland, for the ideological life of party members and workers and for the psychological growth of the younger generation. Unless we do that, we cannot obtain the effective prescriptions produced by changes in people’s consciousness.”

The seminar remarks suggest the North Korean authorities are concerned about young people’s tendency to prioritize money over loyalty to the party. 

The WPK regards ideological changes in young people over the past few years as due to exposure to South Korean and Western culture. The party’s leadership has consequently been focusing on controlling the youth by enacting a series of bizarre laws with no precedent in the history of jurisprudence: the Reactionary Ideology and Culture Rejection Act (2020), the Youth Education Guarantee Act (2021) and the Pyongyang Cultural Language Protection Act (2023). These laws and norms are surely some of the most ridiculous in the world, given their complete disregard for public needs and social reality.

Nevertheless, Kim Jong Un and the WPK have poured massive amounts of money and resources into justifying these absurd norms. They also say that citizens should sacrifice their lives to defend norms that embody ethical values and loyalty to the regime. Thus, the false idea that changing one’s mind and abandoning one’s ideology are dangerous activities has been established as a social norm.

While most people are busy making a living, it’s natural for those who want to make a good impression in the corridors of power to try to flatter the upper class. And because of such people, others come to the same conclusion that they must become “loyal elements.”

But there’s something important that the WPK is overlooking: North Koreans have gone nearly a century without asking or seeking the truth. Surely the North Korean government should be a little grateful to the cold and hungry people who have kept the country running despite lacking the basic necessities of life, instead of viewing them as subjects to be monitored and controlled.

North Koreans cooperate with the laws and norms created by the WPK with little thought of correcting their ignorance, learning about the world, or taking steps for change. They must break out of the collective delusion of treating these laws and norms as gospel and instead join the wave of change, both for themselves and for their descendants.

Translated by David Carruth. Edited by Robert Lauler. 

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

Read in Korean

May 09, 2024 at 11:30AM

by DailyNK(North Korean Media)

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