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.
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.”