‘Ideological struggle for ordinary people, too
‘A’ reporting partner reported: “During the 70-day battle , state monitored meetings went ahead, focusing on maintaining ideological order among ordinary citizens. For each meeting, a 1,000 won ‘deposit’ was exacted from participants. Those that didn’t pay were targeted for criticism during the meetings. People are nervous, they say that more people didn’t pay the ‘deposit’ than did and they are worried about the backlash.”
A number of officials were punished for drinking or inappropriate behavior following the death of Kim Il-sung in 1994. People expect that a similar level of punishment will be imposed during the monitored meetings for the Worker`s party Congress and the 70-day battle.
Related article: Elderly party members excluded from DPRK Party Conference… Increased surveillance of the population
Throughout 2016, ordinary North Koreans have endured various kinds of forced labor like ‘the 70-day battle’ and study meetings. These were in preparation of the Worker`s Party Congress. Yet another state demand is required of North Koreans, the so-called ‘Chonghwa’: ‘monitored meeting’.
Kim Jong-un repeatedly emphasized the importance of creating a better life for the people in his recent Party address. But ordinary North Koreans continue to live a hardscrabble existence with little hope for real improvement in their living conditions.