Anti-Kim Jong Un messages written on currency notes, scattered

Kim Chae Hwan  |  2016-12-19 09:45
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Dozens of 5,000 KPW bills with anti-Kim Jong Un slogans written on them were found littering the streets of downtown Hoeryong City, North Hamgyong Province. The incident coincides with reports that leaflets and graffiti criticizing Kim Jong Un were discovered in Ryanggang Provinces Pochon County and North Hamgyong Provinces Chongjin City. 

At the beginning of December, dozens of 5,000 KPW bills with messages such as Overthrow Kim Jong Un and Punish Kim Jong Un were found scattered on the streets in Hoeryongs Nammun-dong district, a source from North Hamgyong Province reported during a telephone call with Daily NK on December 16. The person used a ballpoint pen to scrawl the messages over the image of Kim Il Sung. 

The Nammun-dong area is only 1.5 kilometers away from the Tumen River, which divides North Korea and China, and is popular for its restaurants and Nammun Market, which attracts daily crowds. For this reason, the area might be viewed as an effective location for anti-regime propaganda efforts.   

When asked how the authorities responded to the incident, the source responded, The bills were discovered at around 5:30 am. It is highly likely that they were distributed much earlier than that. Immediately upon discovering the bills, municipal State Security Department officers were mobilized to swiftly and discreetly collect the evidence. 

A separate source in North Hamgyong Province added, The State Security Department secretly mobilized intelligence officers to conduct an investigation of the incident. The authorities are interrogating residents and conducting handwriting analyses, but word is that they have not been able to apprehend the culprit yet.

In relation to this, a December 14 Radio Free Asia (RFA) report quoted an inside source who reported that leaflets with the phrase Overthrow Kim Jong Un were scattered in a Pochon County marketplace alley on November 20. In early December, white graffiti saying "Punish Kim Jong Un, the peoples enemy," was discovered on a wall in the Sunnam Marketplace in Chongjin City, RFA reported.

Daily NKs sources indicated that they were also aware of the graffiti and flyers seen in Pochon County and Chongjin City. The fact that similar incidents are occurring at a similar time may be indicative of a coordinated effort. 

There had been some incidents of graffiti and leaflets criticizing Kim Jong Un in the past, but this is the first reported incident using North Korean currency to disseminate anti-Kim sentiments. This method is particularly unprecedented because the writing defaces the portrait of Kim Il Sung. 

It appears that the intention is to simultaneously criticize the Suryong (Kim Il Sung) and the Supreme Leader (Kim Jong Un). Getting caught would invite extreme punishment for the perpetrator, as the individual and three generations of their family would be put to death for political crimes, a source in Ryanggang Province said. 

The 200-Day Battle [a labor mobilization order] ended on December 17, which was also the anniversary of Kim Jong Ils death.The fact that an incident occurred directly before this may not bode well for the local authorities. The Hoeryong SSD will most likely try to deflect blame from the Central Party by declaring that they will quickly find the impure elements and wipe them out.

*Edited by Lee Farrand

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