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North Hamgyong Province miners criticized for wearing “anti-socialist” clothing

A coal mining complex in North Hamgyong Province held a lecture and ideological struggle meeting in mid-June to crack down on “anti-socialist” clothing and appearances. One of the miners was punished for wearing blue jeans.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source in the province told Daily NK on Friday that the Kyongwon County coal mining complex held a lecture on proper socialist attire followed by an ideological struggle meeting on June 10.

A party secretary, who led the lecture, emphasized North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s statement that “clothing reflects a person’s mental state” and criticized workers’ attire and hairstyles.

The official mentioned youth wearing South Korean-style haircuts and women wearing tight pants or low-cut tops, warning that “ideological degeneration starts from clothing, and those who don’t follow party-approved styles will be dealt with by the police department.”

Two miners publicly criticized for wearing non-socialist attire

In the subsequent meeting, a man in his 40s named Kim (pseudonym) from the mine’s tunneling unit was publicly criticized for wearing jeans in the mine. Kim explained he changed into jeans inside the mine due to their durability, but this explanation was seen by officials as evidence Kim was “unable to accept criticism.”

Interestingly enough, jeans were first sold to American coal miners who appreciated their durability for work in mines.

Kim was ultimately sentenced to a month at a forced labor camp.

Another man in his 50s, Moon (pseudonym), from the coal extraction unit, was also brought on stage for wearing a denim jacket.

“Moon was only criticized, not sent to a forced labor camp, as it was acknowledged he bought the jacket from a used clothing seller without knowing it was American. However, workers were speechless watching him cut up his jacket on stage.”

Some workers commented after the meeting, “Is it right to send someone to a disciplinary center for wearing the wrong pants in the 21st century?” and “Why make a man in his 50s and near retirement age destroy his clothes in public?”

The source also reported that during the ideological struggle meeting, a 20-year-old male member of the Socialist Patriotic Youth League, identified only as Jong (pseudonym), was singled out. It was pointed out by officials that “recently, there’s been an increasing trend of men getting Western-style perms.” However, workers who knew that Jong naturally had very curly hair snickered at this accusation.

Daily NK works with a network of sources living in North Korea, China, and elsewhere. Their identities remain anonymous for security reasons. For more information about Daily NK’s network of reporting partners and information-gathering activities, please visit our FAQ page here.

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

Read in Korean

July 02, 2024 at 08:00AM

by DailyNK(North Korean Media)

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