◆Kim Jong-un's New Year's greetings
Meanwhile, Kim Jong-un's New Year's message was announced as usual on January 1. As with previous years, North Koreans across the country were forced to memorize and recite the contents of the speech.
A partner reporting from a different region said, “From the 4th to the 7th, state enterprises and organizations ordered their employees to not only study the contents of the speech, but to memorize and recite the New Year’s address in full. On the 7th, the Socialist Women's Union, the Youth League, and the Workers Party each held quiz competitions on the contents of the address. Groups that answered questions well received praise and those that did not received heavy criticism.”
◆ A four-day market closure...business put on hold to study leader’s New Year’s address
From January 4-7, markets were closed in order for residents to study Kim Jong-un’s address. The inconvenience and loss of income during the period raised many voices of discontent. According to the reporting partner, “From January 4-8, the markets were closed and private commercial activity was forbidden. The authorities said that from January 9, the market will be open from 3-8pm but the people are not happy, asking ‘Will memorizing the New Year’s address make us money?’”.
※ ASIAPRESS contacts reporters in North Korea through mobile phones smuggled in from China.
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