Loyalty lectures fall on 'deaf ears'

Kang Mi Jin  |  2016-02-12 16:54

On the heels of its fourth nuclear test last month through to this week's long-range rocket launch, the North Korean authorities have been ramping up efforts to reinforce loyalty for the regime in the face of impending sanctions from the international community. According to local sources, however, working the propaganda machine overtime to win over hearts and minds has proven a largely futile exercise.

Daily NK recently spoke with a source in North Pyongan Province, who informed us that recent lectures on preparations for possible sanctions from the international community in response to the purported hydrogen bomb test and rocket launch have fallen largely on deaf ears. "At the core of these lectures is the message that no matter how difficult times get due to the 'scheming' of the international community to isolate our nation, if we just put our faith in the Marshal [Kim Jong Un] then we'll be able to overcome these trying times," she said.

Lectures of the same nature were also held in Ryanggang Province and South Pyongan Province, according to Daily NKs sources in those regions. 

Added the source, Lecturers went on about how the Marshals [Kim Jong Un] wisdom and bravery, together with his [commitment to] bringing about a happy life for the North Korean people out of his love for them, will pull the country out of its hard times and propel it into wealth and prosperity. As times get tougher, they say, the North Korean people must unite and carry out this revolution. 

As the regime maneuvers to shift the blame for pending sanctions levied against it to the outside, its will to bind the people in solidarity is on full display more than ever; however, some citizens realize that this is propaganda, and are criticizing the regime as a result. 

Because most people are tired of hearing the same things in these orations, they arent really interested in what the regime has to say. If its really true that a successful hydrogen bomb test would drastically improve our lives, what worry would some sanctions be then? How again is it that our lives improved as a result of all this?" the source pointed out, sarcastically.

Most ordinary residents are quick to dismiss a tired message that they have long given up on materializing in any positive way on the ground. "They drone on about how with Kim Jong Uns wisdom and fortitude guiding us we have nothing to fear, but the very fact that they are even giving these lectures to the people about sanctions illustrates how scared they actually are, she said. 

A lot of people point out that if the state diverted even just 1/10th of the money that it funnels to the military sector back to the people it would obviate their food security concerns altogether. He at the top [Kim Jong Un], who never worries about what to eat a day in his life, can never understand our lives. 

*Translated by Natalie Grant

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