Reactions to summit from ordinary North Koreans begin to come in

Kang Mi Jin  |  2018-04-30 09:40
North Korean state newspaper Rodong Sinmun ran a story on the front page of the morning of the inter-Korean summit, April 27, notifying the public of Kim Jong Un's travel across the South Korean border for the meeting. 

Sources inside the country told Daily NK that interest in the event is rising, expressing surprise that it was actually happening.

"People are calling today, April 27, an historic day as Kim Jong Un and the South Korean president met on the South Korean side of Panmunjom," a source in Ryanggang Province near the border with China told Daily NK. 

"There are high hopes for improved relations now, especially since crossing into the South was something that the previous leaders (Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il) didn't do."

The meeting marks the first time that the precise location and time of a top-level event attended by a North Korean leader has been openly broadcast to the world in real time – details that were previously kept tightly controlled in order to protect the leader's safety. 

"Most people know about the meeting as the news was already made public, and everyone now expects (inter-Korean) relations to soon improve," the source said. 

"There haven't yet been any organized events related to the summit," a source in North Hamgyong Province added, referring to Party- or government-organized lectures or other events which almost all North Koreans must regularly attend. 

"Maybe some contents of the summit and instructions over what we must do as a result will be presented to the people after the summit is over."

According to the North Hamgyong-based source, most people have learned about the summit either from phone conversations with others in China or elsewhere, or from lectures or study sessions organized by the Workers' Party Central Committee politburo.

"Discussions among residents will really take off even more now as news of the summit was on the front page of the Rodong Sinmun today," an additional source in Ryanggang Province added.

"There will be talk of exchanges with South Korea and even the possibility of unification everywhere you go."

*Translated by Colin Zwirko

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