The 7th congress of the DPRK Worker’s Party finally ended on May 10. How do the North Korean people perceive the “historical the Worker`s Party congress,” held for the first time in 36 years? To find out, we conducted an interview with an ASIAPRESS reporting partner on May 5, a day before the Worker`s Party congress. (Kang Ji-won)

Reporters for the congress are only permitted to report on ‘developing Pyongyang.’ Ordinary people in Pyongyang earn a living through informal business. The woman in this photo is selling Chinese made sausages. Taken by Koo Gwang-ho in Moranbong District, June 2011. (ASIA PRESS)


Q: After 36 years, why hold a Worker`s Party congress now?

A: “This is the first time I’ve heard about the Worker`s Party congress. The last time the government organized one I was too young to understand what it was, but I heard that there was a congress when our Supreme Leader, Kim Il-sung was alive. I don’t know what the purpose of the congress is. And I’ve no idea what the Party members do in general, or whether they have a specific purpose for this conference.”

Q: How are people reacting to the Worker`s Party congress?

A: “They don’t have any interest. People have been hugely inconvenienced as a result of the Worker`s Party congress and we wonder who it’s all for. If the Worker`s Party congress yields any kind of improvements for us then we welcome it. But we don’t expect to be any better off and it all seems perfunctory. The Worker`s party congress is simply bullshit! We don’t have any interest at all!”

Q: So, despite the authorities putting seemingly great effort into preparation for the congress, you don’t expect anything from it?