DPRK campaigning to increase farming workforce

Choson Ilbo

North Korea has launched a massive campaign to persuade people into farming to make up for a shortage, giving them ideological indoctrination and offering large benefits, sources say.

Civic group North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity said the party held seminars at party chapters on Feb. 23 promising W10,000 in cash and 120 kg of food for households if they voluntarily move to farms.

The Workers’ Party recently distributed copies of a training manual for senior officials on fortifying rural bases. “To increase grain production the most important thing is to make up for a shortage in the rural workforce. This is why blue-collar workers and office workers in urban areas, senior officials in particular, should lead the vanguard in the campaign.” The regime is urging the wives of senior officials in the party and security agencies to set an example for others.

The regime is afraid of the possibility of mounting public discontent if it forces people to relocate at a time when they are seething in the wake of a disastrous currency reform. The regime is giving indoctrination classes to senior officials to move to rural areas and urging them to set an example, news media speculated.

But the group said such efforts would not be effective in persuading ordinary North Koreans to move to rural areas because living conditions there are very bad. “It’s very likely that the regime will end up forcibly relocating them,” it added.


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