-How do the people outside of Pyongyang evaluate Kim Jong-un’s rule since the sudden death of his father, Kim Jong-il four years ago? A call conversation was made with a reporting partner in North Korea. Only harsh criticism was mentioned.
(Edit by KANG Ji-won, defector reporter, Rimjin-gang, and ISHIMARU Jiro)
<This article first appeared in the Korean and Japanese edition of Rimjin-gang on December 2015>
Kim Jong-un is taking care of Pyongyang only
The interview was made with the reporting partner, a laborer in Hoeryong city of the North Hamkyung Province using a Chinese carrier mobile phone smuggled from China into North Korea on December 18, the following day of the memorial day for the late leader Kim Jong-il.
Q.What is good and bad after the inauguration of the Kim Jong-un regime?
A.Nothing has become better, rather things are getting worse. Only Pyongyang or the places being shown to foreigners are crowded and glittering. This country is really a mess if you look into it.
The officials have become so bold in extorting the people that they are not reluctant to getting a bribe overtly. The habitual bribery has made them to be so blatant.
Q.Do the North Korean media propagate that Kim Jong-un has poured efforts on construction and taken care of the people? Don’t they?
A.They pay attention to only those in Pyongyang, no interests for the locals. Frankly speaking those who spend only US Dollars in Pyongyang are quite different from the locals. (He seems to mean the special class of the society)
Treating Kim Jong-un as “a kid”
Q.The media propagate Kim Jong-un as “the greatest among the great men.” What do you think about that?
A.It is ridiculous to hear about Kim Jong-un through such propaganda. The people did not know the truth of the propaganda at the time of the previous ruler (Kim Jong-il). Now the people feel choked with the excessive propaganda. It would be better to do it appropriately. People are quite absurd to hear that the propaganda calls the kid “General! General!
Q.The propaganda says that Kim Jong-un fired a gun, drove a tank and car when he was little.
(The North Korean government propagates how brilliant and talented Kim Jong-un was since his early childhood. He fired a gun before ten years old, beat foreigners in boat racing and drove a car to reach a local city. All these stories are introduced in a book of anecdotes.
A.Who the hell witnessed it? One day a kid suddenly appeared and was introduced as the late leader Kim Jong-il’s son. The propaganda says that the son fired a gun at five. Are we such a fool? We just pretend to be cheated. (He seems to criticize the excessive propaganda)
Q.Are they criticizing Kim Jong-un overtly?
A.No. Family or a really intimate friend utter such a blame (Criticizing Kim Jong-un) together quite often. But never publically, fearing of arrest.
*Rimjin-gang/ASIAPRESS smuggles Chinese carrier mobile phones into North Korea. These devices function in the border area of North Korea. Using these, our North Korean reporters and reporting partners communicate with us on the latest developments.)