◆ A returning volley of 100-1,000 times more propaganda leaflets

-- So you are saying that the issue was the insult to North Korean dignity. Are the authorities saying that they are ready to go to war over this?

A: Yes. What is emphasized at meetings is that Kim Jong-un is the supreme leader, our “sun.” It is therefore unacceptable to insult his dignity. If the South touch him, we will retaliate with 100-1,000 times more force. That is the perspective of the authorities.

-- The North Korean people would have no choice but to retaliate in such a way right? Do you not believe that this domestic atmosphere has been purposefully fostered at the direction of the authorities?

A: We have been told that the South Koreans have been sending dirty leaflets. I think that everybody just throws the leaflets straight into the fire. I talked to a member of the police yesterday and he said that the United States is controlling South Korea and is really behind the sending of the leaflets. To me, the demolition of the liaison office is a warning that says, “You better behave, Moon Jae-in.”

-- South Korea paid 17 million won to construct that joint liaison office. Isn’t it wrong to take the unilateral action of demolishing it?

A: I don’t think it is right. However, if Kim Jong-un is insulted, we are prepared to go to war. The cost is of no consequence.

-- The North Korean people continue to suffer because of the sanctions brought against the regime for not giving up its nuclear weapons, not to mention the coronavirus.

A: I understand that our poverty is due to the regime not giving up nuclear weapons. But, as the top officials say, “We will not get eaten by the United States because we have nuclear weapons. We must not give up our nuclear weapons.” Many amongst the population believe that the dignity of our people is being protected by the nuclear weapons.

◆ Complaints about the economy redirected through campaign against S. Korea

According to the reporting partner, the Moon Jae-in administration and North Korean defectors have been the targets of condemnation at local political unit (inminban) meetings and political ideology lectures. Since the border with China was sealed off in late January to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, North Korea’s economy has seriously deteriorated, drawing complaints from senior officials and common laborers alike.

After two years of disappointment following the inter-Korean summit, the North Korean public seem to be sympathetic towards the regime’s latest campaign against South Korea. (Continued to Part 2 >>)