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Elderly party members excluded from DPRK Party Conference… Increased surveillance of the population

Two young women who were caught by the inspection unit checking clothes and public morals in Haeju City, North Hwanghae Province. Taken by Shim Eui-cheon on October 2008. (ASIAPRESS)

Two young women who were caught by the inspection unit checking clothes and public morals in Haeju City, North Hwanghae Province. Taken by Shim Eui-cheon on October 2008. (ASIAPRESS)

 

As the Party Conference approaches state control over the population also appears to be increasing.

ASIA PRESS’s reporting partner said that a surveillance group monitoring anti-socialist activities, formed March 23, is targeting; young women doing business in market place; people with unusual hairstyles; and people wearing jeans. The surveillance group sends apprehended individuals labor sites.

A young man in an Mickey Mouse T-shirt walking through a market. He risks being detained by the anti-socialist activities inspection unit. Taken by team Mindulle at a market place of Hyesan City, Ryanggang Province on August 2013. (ASIAPRESS)

A young man in an Mickey Mouse T-shirt walking through a market. He risks being detained by the anti-socialist activities inspection unit. Taken by team Mindulle at a market place of Hyesan City, Ryanggang Province on August 2013. (ASIAPRESS)

 

In the last ten years, as outside information has crept into North Korea, capitalist culture has become popular among North Korean youth. South Korean soap operas have played a significant part in these social changes. North Korean authorities regard blue jeans as a symbol of capitalism and an eyesore to be stamped out.

During another telephone conversation with an ASIAPRESS in-country reporting partner on 28 March, the reporter told us that a national security agent (secret police) he is acquainted with alerted him that, “until the Party Conference, extra control will be enforced. The officers in charge of blocking cellular communication with people outside North Korea arrived from Pyongyang to jam signals near Chinese border.”

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