Kim Yong Hun
It was reported that a religion criticizing Socialism has been on the spread in North Korea’s army, and various publications and CDs relaying information on South Korea has been transmitted in secrecy.
It is the first time ever to be reported that there has been a spread of religion within the North Korean army.
On the 6th of September, the Committee for Democratization of North Korea collected and revealed an educational-purpose document, which was issued by the Chosun People’s Army Publishing Department. This 18-page manuscript, issued in March, 2007, was used in the two months following to educate soldiers and commissioned officers about the increase in soldiers relying on religion and foreign publications. According to the document, there is a need to re-indoctrinate the North Korean People’s Army in order to suppress the inflow of capitalism.
It warned that, “We should not look, listen, read the documents, broadcastings and video or audio materials made by the enemy. The enemy is using Radio and TV to launch false propaganda through well-made, strategic news and intrigue.” and “While the enemy continues to attack us with their political indoctrination, our soldiers must not sway to their influence. We must block off all means of broadcasting through which the enemies can trespass.”
The document states that “the CDs, recordings and publications from the enemies all contain information about their development of and the prosperity of capitalism. Their corruptive culture and lifestyle is embellished ingeniously in such a strategic manner. The signalmen must comply with all rules when using their radiotelegraph and every soldier must work to confiscate small-sized semiconductor radios and pocket-sized TVs.”
The reason why the North Korean military is complying with educational-purpose philosophy indoctrination is because the wide-spread transmission among soldiers of South Korean dramas, CDs, and publications that contain information on capitalistic society is seen as a serious problem.
In particular, the report advises very strictly that the soldiers not be dazzled by religion, and to pursue socialism no matter what. It conveys that religion is not only taking over the regular citizens but is becoming an influence within the army of North Korea.
The document states that, “The enemy is sending bibles, audio and video materials related to religion and superstition through various routes. They are placing spies within international delegations entering our borders to spread their religions and superstitious beliefs and win our citizens over to their side.”
In addition, “Religion and superstition are like poison that corrupts socialism and paralyzes class consciousness. Our soldiers must, more than ever, instigate a revolutionary awakening to defy the enemies’ maneuvers.”
It continues on, cautioning that “soldiers must be wary of superstition, religion and the foreign lifestyle, and when they find evidence of such things, must immediately stop them from spreading further. We must not get involved in the enemy’s strategic propaganda. Getting involved in the psychological warfare of enemies is considered high treason; and therefore, we must fight against it, considering this issue an emergency.”
It is also emphasized that, “Alcohol, Sex and Money are poisons that ruin our ideology and belief. We must increase the ideological indoctrination, ideological struggle and legal struggle in order to fight the spread of these elements of capitalistic ideology.”
The Committee for Democratization of North Korea revealed that “According to North Korean defectors, there have been consecutive economic downfalls since the nuclear tests, causing much difficulty in the daily lives of North Korean citizens. It is known that the situation for soldiers has worsened as well.”
The educational-purpose document is a kind of propaganda tool explaining background, measures, and outlines of the domestic state. Different indoctrination documents are distributed to different groups of individuals: what is disseminated among politicians differs from that which is given to workers or military.