Tepid reaction to propaganda lectures after 6th nuclear test

Kim Chae Hwan  |  2017-11-06 14:37
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Daily NK sources have reported that the North Korean government ordered the delivery of a new series of emergency compulsory lectures following the countrys 6th nuclear test on September 3. Featuring characteristically belligerent rhetoric, the lectures appear to be an attempt by the government to quell internal unrest, especially among the elites in Pyongyang, who may react negatively to the country's heightened war footing.
Around mid-September, factory workers were made to attend lectures titled, 'Nothing can stop the  Byungjin Line - the Party's parallel economic and nuclear development.' The head of the lecture division of the regime's Propaganda and Agitation Department was dispatched to carry out these lectures in the wake of the pressing political situation, a source in Pyongyang informed Daily NK on October 31.
The source said that the lecture included the promise that we will bring the US and South Korea to their knees, and it won't be long before we are rewarded for all of our suffering." Also covered was the 'greatness of Kim Jong Un' and the country's status as a 'legitimate nuclear state,' claiming to have "pushed the US into a corner with our nuclear weapons."
The regime has also been intensifying war rhetoric, threatening to "start a nuclear war if we are not recognized as a legitimate nuclear state." According to the source, the lecturers warned residents that "the war-weary enemy is surrendering" and that "the US and South Korea are a labyrinth of gas lines, and all it will take is a single bomb to turn them into a sea of fire."
Our enemies are destined to surrender. The power is in our [North Koreas] hands, the lecturers allegedly claimed.
"We have nothing to regret and nothing to lose. The prospect of nuclear war destroying the great economies of the US and South Korea is bringing them to their knees. This is exactly why we are more focused on our military than our economy."
The people's reaction to these lectures, however, has been lukewarm at best. Criticisms of the latest propaganda note that the nuclear program does nothing to solve food shortages and that in the case of nuclear war, the North would also be destroyed. 
An additional source in Pyongyang said that North Korean residents frequently refer to members of the Propaganda and Agitation Department as smooth talkers, as people can at first feel a sense of piety to the nation, but after later reflecting on the lecture contents, they realize the futility of it all. 
"These officials have been giving lectures using the same techniques they have been using since the Kim Jong Il era. Their charismatic way of speaking almost makes us believe what they are saying, he said, but if this is the regimes plan to bring public sentiment back on their side, its much too late.  

*Translated by Colin Zwirko

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