Archive for the ‘Kim’s New Year Address (Joint editorials)’ Category

Enlarged plenary meeting of Cabinet held

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Pictured above (Google Earth) is Changsong Town in North Pyongan Province. This town is the home of the Changsong Joint Conference which was held in August 1962.  This meeting was referenced in the DPRK’s most recent Cabinet plenary meeting on the DPRK economy.

According to KCNA (2012-1-22):

An enlarged Cabinet plenary meeting was held.

Present there were Premier Choe Yong Rim and cabinet members.

Attending the meeting as observers were senior officials of the organizations under direct control of the Cabinet, directors of management bureaus, chairpersons of provincial, city and county people’s committees, chairpersons of provincial rural economy committees, chairpersons of provincial planning committees, directors of provincial foodstuff and daily necessities management bureaus and managers of major factories and enterprises.

Prior to the meeting, the participants paid silent tribute to the memory of leader Kim Jong Il.

The meeting reviewed the fulfillment of last year’s national economic plan and discussed how to implement the decision of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, joint calls of the WPK Central Committee and the Central Military Commission and the militant task put forward in the joint New Year editorial.

Vice-Premier Ro Tu Chol made a report to be followed by speeches.

The enlarged meeting set it as a priority task for this year to direct efforts into developing light industry and agriculture to improve the people’s livelihood and successfully carrying out the WPK’s prosperity-oriented strategy in the pilot domains and basic industries of the national economy upholding the flames of South Hamgyong Province. It also indicated the tasks and ways for it.

Also discussed was an issue of raising higher the flames of great innovation of South Hamgyong Province in the light industrial and agricultural fields.

The meeting mentioned the need to produce quality consumer goods favored by the people in the field of light industry and effect a decisive turn in development of local industry this year marking the 50th anniversary of the historic Changsong joint conference.

It also stressed the need for ministries and national institutions to help Changsong County in its industrial development.

Also discussed at the meeting were such issues as fulfilling the assignments for grain production for 2012 both in lowland and mountainous areas, making the best use of modern stockbreeding and poultry bases and large fruit and fish farms as well as the tasks for ministries and national institutions to preferentially supply materials, equipment and electricity to farming processes.

The meeting drew attention to the tasks for the industrial fields of electric power, coal, metal, railways and machine and construction and building materials, etc.

The meeting tabled the tasks for all ministries, national institutions and provincial people’s committees to lay their own scientific and technological foundations for stepping up the work for turning the economy into one based on technology in a forward-looking manner as required by the industrial revolution in the new century.

It also discussed the tasks for the fields of education, literature and art, public health, sports, capital construction, land management and urban management.

The meeting stressed the need for all economic officials to preserve the socialist principle and ensure profitability in economic management, operate and manage the economic work on the basis of detailed calculation and science as well as the need for ministries, national institutions and industrial establishments to set up strict order regarding planning, financial dealings and administration.

Relevant decisions were made at the meeting.

As premier of the Cabinet Choe Yong-rim has made quite a few prominent appearances in the DPRK media in the last two years which highlight his official efforts to improve the North Korean economy. His most recent public appearance (January 12) is reported to have been at the Jenam Coal Mine.

Kim Jong-un, however, is not a member of the Cabinet, so he did not attend the meeting. To date his legitimacy is being established through his relationship to Kim Jong-il/Kim Il-sung and as a leader of the KPA—rather than as a leader in the government or even the party (at least so far).

As a result, Kim Jong-un’s guidance visits have consisted almost exclusively of visits to KPA units.  In this month alone, he has visited the 105 Tank Brigade, KPA Unit 169, KPA Unit 3870, KPA Unit 354, KPA Unit 671, and the KPA soldiers constructing the Pyongyang Folk Village on the outskirts of Pyongyang. Uriminzokkiri has also credited him with spearheading the DPRK’s nuclear tests.

UPDATE: Here is Yonhap coverage of the meeting.

“Changsong Joint Conference”
The KCNA article prompted me to look into the “Changsong Joint Conference”, a term that did not ring a bell. The most recent reference I can find to it is this blurb from a March 2011 article in Korea Magazine:

The Changsong Joint Conference of Local Party and Economic Officials was held in August 1962.

The conference marked the beginning of developing the local industry throughout the country.

In recent years the county has made strenuous efforts to carry out the plan of the Workers’ Party of Korea for the building of a thriving nation and achieved many successes.

Hundreds of hectares of forests of raw materials and timber forests including pine-nut, wild-walnut and larch forests have been newly created.

The Changsong Foodstuff Factory gathers in scores of kinds of wild fruits including acorns, wild grapes, fruits of Actinidia arguta and Crataegus pinnatifida every year in mountains.

Recently its officials and workers have modernized all production processes including wild fruit drinks and wines as required in the IT age to produce foodstuffs in time.

Wines made from the fermented juice of wild grapes, fruits of Actinidia arguta and other wild fruits, Crataegus pinnatifida, Rubus crataegifolius, carbonated Actinidia arguta and other fruit juices, dried bracken and sliced bracken and other wild vegetables preserved in soy sauce are in great demand for their peculiar flavour.

The Changsong Textile Mill which started operation with six housewives has been turned into a modern fabric producer. As a treasure mill, it makes a great contribution to the improvement of the people’s standard of living. It produces quality fabrics, woolen knitted goods and quilts and blankets with local raw materials.

The Changsong Paper Mill produces paper from ground pulp. It has streamlined the equipment to improve the qualities of goods.

Looking round the local-industry factories in Changsong County in November last year, Kim Jong Il kindled the flame of developing the local industry throughout the country after the model of Changsong.

Changsong County stands at the head of development of local industry. Now its people work harder to change further the looks of their home village.

Another blogger seems to have located a single page of a book on the Changsong Joint Conference. Fortunately, he typed out the introduction:

The great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung had made a farsighted plan for bridging the gap between town and country and between regions and raising equally the living standards of all the working people. For this Changsong County had been taken as a model.

The great leader who had long pushed preparations for rapid improvement in the livelihood of the mountain peasants, studied deeply the state of affairs in this part of the country, and through his several on-the-spot guidances, paved the shortest cut to establish a socialist paradise.

In August 1962, in order to spread the example of Changsong across the land he convened the historic Changsong Joint Conference of Local Party and Economic Functionaries. There he put forward a new policy and overall ways and means to enhance the role of the county and develop local industry and agriculture, so as to improve radically the people’s living conditions.

In 1974, our people erected in Changsong the historic monument to the on-the-spot guidance of the respected and beloved leader Comrade Kim Il Sung, out of their wish to retell throughout generations the profound care of the fatherly leader who had shown the bright future of mountain villages and transformed that area into a people’s paradise fine to live in.

Kim Jong-il last visited Changsong in November 2010 where he visited the Changsong Foodstuff Factory, Changsong Textile Mill, and Changsong House of Culture. The first two locations are the shining examples of the success of the Changsong Joint Conference.  The Changsong House of Culture is where the meeting was officially held in 1962.

But if the goal of the conference is to reduce the disparity in the DPRK’s living standards, Changsong is probably not the best place to start. Changsong is home to one of the North Korean leadership’s most well-known luxury retreats.  This is because it was was extensively photographed by Kenji Fujimoto while he was working as Kim Jong-il’s personal chef.   See a satellite image and Mr. Fujimoto’s pictures of the compound here. You can see the Taegwan leadership train station Kim used to visit the compound here.


2012 Joint Editorial

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Some thought it was possible that Kim Jong-un might deliver a new year’s address (as Kim Il-sung always did), but instead the leadership has chosen to follow the practice of the Kim Jong-il era by issuing a “joint editorial” by Rodong Sinmun, Joson Inmingun, and Chongnyon Jonwi.

Since I am writing this post well after the joint editorial has already been published, numerous commentators have already weighed in: Choson Exchange, Daily NK, Washington Post, CNN, Business Week, Hankyoreh, IFES, Xinhua.

Below is the full text of the Joint New Year Editorial c/o North East Asia Matters. My hat off to anyone who actually reads the whole thing:



Economic performance and legitimacy in the DPRK

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Geoffrey See and Andray Abrahamian (both representatives of Choson Exchange) wrote an article in the Harvard International Review which asserts that economic successes are becoming more important to the political narratives that reinforce the DPRK leadership’s claims to legitimacy. Below is an excerpt from their article:

North Korea’s most important domestic policy statement comes each New Year, when the major newspapers publish a joint editorial. The editorial often signals where government priorities will be in the coming year. In 2010 the newspapers spoke of “Bring[ing] about a decisive change in the people’s lives by accelerating once again light industry and agriculture.” Similar themes were echoed in 2011. This is opposed to the joint editorials of the past few years, which have focused on the more traditional themes of military strength, revolution, and socialism.

Another public sign of a shift towards focusing on economic issues is the type of official visits and inspections carried out by Kim Jong Il. Following in the footsteps of his father, Kim uses these visits to signal emphasis or encouragement of specific industries, activities, and policies. According to a report by the Institute for Far Eastern Studies, the first six months of 2011 have seen Kim exceptionally busy, participating in 63 official activities. Unlike previous years, however, the number of military visitations has dropped off: only 14 visits were military related, the lowest number ever recorded. By contrast, 28 visits were economic related.

In terms of policy, North Korea has been haltingly experimenting with Special Economic Zones (SEZ) since the mid-nineties, but has recently built a bit more momentum in this area. Rason, an SEZ in the far northeast, is finally seeing some basic infrastructure upgrades that were long talked about but always delayed. Government investment bodies have started to promote the idea that Rason will be the “next Singapore,” an ambitious marketing claim to anyone who has been to Rason. With both Russia and China leasing port space, it seems more likely to be transformed into a regional transportation hub. Meanwhile, along the Chinese border in the northwest, the Hwanggumpyong SEZ recently held a groundbreaking ceremony, attended by high-ranking North Korean officials and Wang Qishan, China’s commerce minister.

Senior politicians in North Korea are increasingly judged by their ability to bring in foreign direct investments. These efforts appear to be competitive rather than coordinated. North Korean leaders associated with the National Defense Commission, the highest level policy body, have been meeting with visiting foreign investors. In 2009, the Daepung International Investment Group was re-purposed along the lines of a holding company model as a vehicle for attracting foreign direct investment l with “27 joint ventures planned and to be managed by the Group.” Daepung Group is backed by specific high-level individuals. Jon Il-Chun, reportedly the Director of Office 39, a murky international trade and finance organ, is definitely involved with the Daepung Group. Media reports also indicate that Kim Yang Gon, Director of an organization tasked with managing contacts with South Korea, the United Front Department of the Workers’ Party, is also behind the group.

In July of the same year, the Joint Venture & Investment Commission (JVIC) was established. Instead of a holding company model, JVIC is a government institution modeled as a “one-stop shop” for investors – that is, JVIC is meant to “seek out investments and assist investors in setting up operations in North Korea.” While multiple institutions claiming to hold such authority have always existed in North Korea, many of these institutions have been merged into JVIC and long-time investors have been directed to liaise with JVIC as their primary government contact. JVIC’s nominal and public head is Ri Chol, a high-ranking North Korean government official.

In August of 2010, we received credible reports that foreign investors were approached to help set up a group similar to Daepung that would be backed by another member of the National Defense Commission. Given this proposed initiative’s similarities to Daepung, the prior establishment of JVIC, and that all three groups do not appear to communicate with each other, we surmise that these various groups have a competitive relationship with the support of different patrons. Investment officials with whom our teammates have met confirm that the relationship between the agencies is “very competitive.” If this is the case, it is a signal that influential groups in Pyongyang sense that future power bases will require the ability to attract and deploy capital.

The full article is worth reading here:
Harvard International Review
Geoffrey K. See and Andray Abrahamian
August 23, 2011


Science and technology and improving the lives of the North Korean people

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)
NK Brief 2011.06.30

North Korea designated this year as the “year of light industry” in an effort to increase consumer goods production and enhance the lives of the people. In addition, a June 23 editorial in the Rodong Sinmun reiterated the importance of science and technology for building a strong and powerful nation and improving the lives of citizens.

Science and technology was mentioned as one of the three pillars for building a strong and powerful nation — the other two being ideology and advanced weaponry.

The editorial emphasized, “We must construct a self-reliant economy and stand on our own two feet no matter what,” and stressed that production system of Juche steel and Juche fertilizers is a victory for the Juche ideology and the science and technology policy of North Korea.

In addition, the column highlighted the importance of promoting Juche, modernization, and informatization in all sectors. “Modern successes in science and technology must be fully adopted and institutionalized in order to enhance production and economic effectiveness. To do so, we must engage in the fight for conserving energy, fuels, materials and national resources.”

The role of scientists and technicians was also accentuated. The future development of science and technology and construction of a strong and powerful economy was depicted to be in the hands of this group. In particular, importance for science research in light industry, agriculture, people’s economy, and modernization for industries was further highlighted.

“To meet the demand of modern times of integrating science and technology and production, technological revolutionary movement must be started and combine the collective knowledge of producers and masses.” It was said that the core and fundamental technology (information, nano, and bioengineering technologies) along with cutting-edge technology (new materials, energy, and space science technologies) must be incorporated to fully contribute to the building of a powerful socialist state.

This editorial appears as an attempt to encourage the growth of production in light and agriculture industries in order to meet the goal of reaching the “strong and powerful nation” by 2012. In this year’s New Year Editorial, revolutionary development in science and technology, tight integration of science and technology with production, revolution of light industry and development of people’s economy through science research were mentioned as chief objectives of the year. It was said that significant weight will continue to be placed on the economy and technology including “integration of science and technology and production” and “technological revolutionary movement of the masses.”


DPRK to distribute light industrial goods to the people by April 2012

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)
NK Brief No. 11-02-08

In last month’s New Year’s Joint Editorial, North Korean authorities reaffirmed the national drive to strongly develop the country’s light industrial sector by 2012, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung. On February 2, the Choson Sinbo, the newspaper of the pro-North Korean residents’ league in Japan, proclaimed that all efforts were being focused on delivering high-quality light industrial goods by April of next year.

North Korea’s minister of light industry, forty-seven year old Hu Chul San, was interviewed by the paper’s Kook Jang Eun. Hu stated that light industrial zones already in operation would be further bolstered and the provision of raw materials would be prioritized for celebrations surrounding the 100-year birthday of the country’s founder.

The North Korean regime has set 2012 as the year in which it will “open the doors to a great and prosperous nation,” and Kim Il Sung’s April 15 birthdate has been set as the first target for economic revival. Just as in 2010, this year’s Joint Editorial called for light industrial growth and improvements in the lives of the North Korean people as the ‘strong and prosperous nation’ goal is pursued.

Minister Hu gave one example of the expected boost in production, stating that all students, from elementary school to university, would receive new school uniforms by next April. “Originally, school uniforms were issued to all students once every three years, but as the nation’s economic situation grew more difficult, [the regime] was unable to meet the demand.” He promised that for the 100-year anniversary, “Rationing would take place as it did when the Great Leader was here.”

The minister also explained that all preparations for distributing light industrial goods to the people next April needed to be completed by the end of this year, since Kim Il Sung’s birthday fell so early in the spring. He stated that a strong base had already been established for the production of high-quality goods, and that many organizations had already mass-produced high-quality goods for the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the Korean Workers’ Party founding last year, offering the Pyongyang Sock Factory, the Sinuiju Textile Mill, the Botong River Shoe Factory, and the Pyongyang Textile Mill as examples.

When asked how North Korea would resolve raw material shortages, the minister explained that since the February 8 Vinalon Complex began operations last year, Vinalon and several other types of synthetic materials were available. The Sunchon Chemical Complex and other industries were also providing synthetic materials to light industrial factories throughout the country, strongly supporting indigenous efforts to increase production. He added, “Raw rubber, fuel and other materials absent from our country must be imported,” but that “national policies were being implemented” to ensure steady supply.

Minister Hu admitted that there was no shortage of difficulties, but that every worker was aware of the importance of meeting the April deadline, and that because raw material shortages were being resolved, light industries were now able to press ahead with full-speed production.


2011 Joint editorial collection

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Naenara has posted a summary of the DPRK’s annual joint editorial. You can read it in English here.  You can read it in Korean here.

For those of you unable or unwilling to access the Naenara web page, I created a PDF document which you may access here (English) and here (Korean)

Below I will maintain an updated list of media stories that cover the joint editorial.

Pictured above: Propaganda posters that “encourage the popular masses to carry out the militant tasks set forth in the joint New Year editorial” (KCNA)

Report 7 from IFES:

DPRK New Year’s Joint Editorial emphasizes light industry for improving the lives of the people
NK Brief No. 11-01-05-2

In North Korea’s 2011 New Year’s Joint Editorial, the main theme was again the development of light industry in order to improve the lives of the people, just as last year, and emphasis was placed on Party leadership, self-reliance, and the principles of socialist economic management. Under the slogan, “Let’s bring about a decisive turn in the improvement of the people’s standard of living and the building of a great, prosperous and powerful country by accelerating the development of light industry once again this year,” light industry and quality of life improvements were again highlighted as part of the advance toward the 2012 goal of opening the doors to a Strong and Prosperous Country, but this issue was only lightly touched upon.

On the other hand, considerable space was allotted to the section on inter-Korean relations. Inter-Korean dialog and cooperation were emphasized, and the editorial positively evaluated its efforts toward unification, stating that “Last year our nation’s movement for the country’s reunification made dynamic progress even in the face of the vicious challenges of the separatist forces inside and outside.” In 2010, the Joint Editorial was more pessimistic, calling South-North relations “aggravated” by vicious maneuvers of “splittist forces.” This year, the editorial called for “all Koreans in the north, south and abroad join efforts and bring a new phase of independent reunification!” Under this slogan, Pyongyang appeared to take a very positive stance, citing the need to east tensions between the two Koreas, to remove the danger of war and safeguard peace, and to proactively promote dialogue and cooperation.

Under the banner of ‘national prosperity’, the article emphasized creating an atmosphere of dialog and cooperation between the two Koreas, and highlighted the need to diffuse the situation that the Lee Myung-bak government drove “to the brink of war.” Despite the Cheonan and Yeonpyeong Island incidents, the North maintained a consistent effort to reopen Keumgang Mountain tourist resort and other steps to repair inter-Korean relations. For North Korea, a tense military atmosphere between the two Koreas is not helpful in its bid to successfully reach its goal of a Strong and Prosperous Country by 2012 by building an economically strong state. Pyongyang also needs to manage relations with Seoul in order to improve relations with the United States and others.

The editorial calls for bringing about “a decisive turn in the improvement of the people’s standard of living and the building of a great, prosperous and powerful country,” and launching “an all-out, vigorous offensive for a breakthrough to realize the wish of the President to build a prosperous country, and thus greet the centenary of his birth as the greatest holiday of Kim Il Sung’s nation and a great event of humankind,” setting 2012 as the goal for opening the doors to a Strong and Prosperous Country. The editorial emphasized that “this year’s general offensive is a continuation of the grand onward march for improving the people’s standard of living, and its new, higher stage,” and is Party policy that “the improvement of the people’s standard of living should be regarded as the most important issue, the highest goal of its struggle, and carried through to the end.”

In the 2010 New Year’s Joint Editorial, Party policy was described as it’s “steadfast determination and resolve to have our people, who have weathered difficult hardships following the party, enjoy being blessed with socialism to their hearts’ content by having the achievements of the great upswing actually be allotted to the people, and to blossom into reality, without fail, the sublime intent and desires of the fatherly leader, who dedicated his entire life to the people.” This year, “light industry is the major front in the general offensive,” while “light industry and agriculture [were] the main fronts of the struggle” in 2010.

Regarding light industry, the editorial emphasized, “The sector of light industry should pay first and foremost attention to making the factories and enterprise . . . keep their production running at a high level,” and that they “should focus on the production of primary consumer goods and other necessities widely used in life, and expand and augment the overall production of other consumer goods.”

The economic section mentioned coal, electricity, iron and steel, as well as transportation as four vanguard industries, emphasized improvements in light and chemical industry, and said that “the agricultural front is the lifeline for solving the problem of people’s living.” The editorial also states, “Breaking through the cutting edge that all sectors should surpass in the shortest time the scientific and technical standards the world has reached,” on the basis of self-reliance and the principles of socialist economic management. The section would lead one to believe that North Korea needs Chinese-style reforms in order to develop its economy, yet it bases these campaigns on self-reliance and the socialist principles of “strict discipline . . . in planning, finance and labour administration.”

This year, North Korea’s New Year’s Joint Editorial continues to push for light industrial development in order to improve the lives of the people and open the doors to a Strong and Prosperous Country in 2012. However, now, after hammering out public financing during last year’s Party conference, the Party is reaffirming that development will be on the basis of “our-style” of reform.

Report 6 from KCNA: The Pyongyang rally has been posted to YouTube.

Report 5 in Yonhap:

About 100,000 North Koreans gathered Monday in Pyongyang to show support for their country’s economic push outlined in a New Year’s message, holding high the portraits of their leader Kim Jong-il and his late father, the communist state’s official media said.

The scene marks the latest in a series of mass rallies the North has organized nationwide since a joint press editorial on Jan 1. called for the revival of light industries ahead of a landmark year.

North Korea has designated 2012 as a moment in its history to rise as a “powerful, great and prosperous country.” The year marks the centennial birthday of Kim Jong-il’s father, Kim Il-sung, and analysts say the regime appears to be trying to improve people’s living standards in a bid to create a mood favorable for its second hereditary power succession underway in Pyongyang.

“Slogan boards were set up at the site of the rally, saying hurray to the revolutionary ideas of Great President Kim Il-sung and Dear Leader Kim Jong-il,” the Korean Central TV said.

Since his death in 1994, Kim Il-sung, who founded the country, has assumed the post of “Eternal President.” The impoverished North runs a massive cult of personality around the Kim family. Kim Jong-il is now grooming his third son, Kim Jong-un, as his successor.

The rally, which brought together a wide collection of propaganda flags, began with a hymn to Kim Jong-il, the television said, while the participants pledged to fervently carry out the New Year goals.

North Koreans are said to be forced to memorize joint press editorials released every New Year’s Day. The editorials are scrutinized by outside officials and analysts for hints into the isolated country’s political and economic plans.

North Korea this year also called for dialogue with South Korea despite tensions that arose when it shelled a South Korean border island and killed four people on Nov. 23. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said in his New Year speech on Monday that his country would retaliate harshly if North Korea provoked it again, even though he left room for dialogue open.

Analysts believe the North, one of the poorest countries in the world, will have difficulties reviving its economy unless it opens up for outside resources. The North, which fears outside influence may undermine its grip on the 24-million population, made little mention of a need to open up economically in its New Year editorial.

Report 4 in the Daily NK:

North Korea has asserted as its goals for 2011, “improvement of the people’s lives and constant pursuit of construction of the strong and prosperous state” through its annual “Common Editorial” carried by the three major publications of state; Rodong Shinmun, Chosun People’s Army and Youths’ Advance Guard.

The publications, which carry the propaganda of the Party, military and Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League respectively, released the editorial this morning under the heading, “This year let us realize a decisive change in improving the people’s lives and constructing the strong and prosperous state by once more accelerating light industry.”

Without mentioning nuclear issues or improving relations with the U.S., and only scant mention of the succession, the editorial mostly reiterated the contents of last year’s editorial; “improving the people’s lives through development of light industry and agriculture.”

This year’s piece started with an evaluation of the last ten years, calling it a “victorious decade” and asserting, “Juche 99 (2010) was the year when phenomenal issues which showed the strong and prosperous future happened in consecutive order.”

Specifically, it pointed to the Delegates’ Conference of the Chosun Workers’ Party as the biggest achievement of the last year.

Regarding the Delegates’ Conference, it went on, “It was a significant chance to raise the authority of the Party in all possible ways and reinforce and develop our Party into an eternal Comrade Kim Il Sung Party,” adding that the Conference was “the fundamental background for the succession and completion of the achievements of the Party and Juche revolution.”

In terms of Kim Jong Il’s activities, it defined the last year as “a historical year when the excellent leadership of comrade Kim Jong Il was displayed at the highest level,” and emphasized, “The General’s leadership work, which led the whole military and people into a brave, aggressive war, was truly extraordinary and intelligent.”

The editorial praised Kim Jong Il’s diplomatic activities, stating, “Two visits to China by the respectful General were historic trips to raise the conventional friendly relations between China and Chosun onto a new level which have prepared the advantageous surroundings for our revolution.”

This appears to suggest that the biggest of Kim Jong Il’s achievements was obtaining Chinese support for the Kim Jong Eun succession.

After the evaluation of the previous year, strategies, goals and major slogans for the New Year followed as normal, and as normal all is led by a quotation from Kim Jong Il; this year, “We have to bring forth the bright future of the strong and prosperous state through constant innovation and advancement, while harboring a deep faith in our victory.”

Regarding the economy, it stated, “This year’s all-out battle is the constant, enormous march for an enhancement to people’s live,” and “light industry is the primary frontier of the all-out battle.”

Among the most interesting points may turn out to be, “The movement of August 3rd people’s consumer good production has to be carried out actively,” which may suggest that the authorities are set to partially allow autonomy of production, an idea which stands apart from recent strong-armed attempts to return to the socialist economy of yesteryear.

August 3rd people’s consumer goods refer to all the necessities made independently with by-products or recycled materials from each factory, enterprise or collective farm to help them generate revenue.

The editorial also demanded indirectly loyalty to Kim Jong Eun, who became the Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission under the Central Committee of the Party through the Party Delegates’ Conference in September, asserting, “Holding aloft the slogan, ‘Let’s defend the Central Committee of the Party surrounded by great comrade Kim Jong Il with our lives,’ we have to inherit solidly the precious tradition of believing absolutely and following the Party and Suryeong.”

It additionally implied that the North may take a hard-line towards South Korea this year, stating that, “The spirit of the People’s Army, which resembles its great supreme commander, is the fighting spirit of the Mt. Baekdu, and its way of reacting is through urgent and merciless annihilation.”

It also explained that the major reason for the latest confrontation between North and South is the South’s policy towards the North.

It asserted, “South Chosun authorities must come to the path of withdrawing their policy of anti-reunification, confrontation with the same nation and respect and implement the June 15 Joint Declaration and the October 4 Inter-Korean Summit Agreement.”

Saying, “If the flame of war bursts to life on this soil, there will be nothing but a nuclear disaster,” the editorial threatened, “The whole nation should never forgive the criminal maneuvers of pro-American and belligerent elements, which have dragged the situation into a war in collision with foreign forces.”

In conclusion, the editorial finished, “While unifying strongly around the Central Committee of the Party led by great comrade Kim Jong Il, let’s create decisive change in the construction of the strong and prosperous state with deep faith.”

Report 3 in  the Wall Street Journal:

The annual New Year’s message from North Korea’s authoritarian regime urged the country’s 24 million citizens as usual to work together for a stronger country, but it was more militant toward South Korea than last year’s statement was.

The message issued Saturday contained no signs of a new direction in overall economic and diplomatic strategy. It warned the South’s government to stop what it called “north-targeted war moves” and a “smear campaign” against it.

The New Year’s message is one of the few regular statements from Pyongyang that offer an opportunity to gauge the tone and direction of the regime, and is always a curiosity to outsiders because of its totalitarian language.

Running nearly 6,000 words in English, the message followed the usual pattern by first recalling the past year’s accomplishments. It then turned to focus on 2011 with a one-sentence declaration of purpose for the nation, which was immediately underlined by a quotation from dictator Kim Jong Il.

This year, Mr. Kim was quoted as saying, “We should bring earlier the bright future of a thriving nation by making continuous innovations and advance, full of confidence in victory.”

Most of the message focused on a long-promoted drive by the North’s government to build a “prosperous nation” by 2012, the 100-year anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, who is Kim Jong Il’s father. The elder Mr. Kim founded North Korea and was its absolute ruler from 1948 until his death in 1994. Kim Jong Il in September 2010 tapped his youngest son, Kim Jong Eun, as heir apparent, in a sign the family will attempt a third generation of control over the nation of 24 million.

As in previous New Year’s statements, the last 1,500 words or so of the 2011 message were devoted to the tension between North and South Korea, which has spanned decades.

The message indirectly referred to North Korea’s Nov. 23 attack of a South Korea-controlled island, the first attack by the North on South Korean land since the war of the 1950s. The North in Saturday’s message again blamed South Korea’s government and “outside forces,” a reference to the South’s allies, the U.S. and Japan, for inciting the attack with “north-targeted war moves.”

“The danger of war should be removed and peace safeguarded in the Korean peninsula,” the message said. That was stronger language than it used in the 2010 New Year’s message, when it said, “The way for improving north-south relations should be opened.”

By contrast, the 2010 statement didn’t use the word “war” in describing the tension with the South. Instead, it called the South’s government “vicious” and urged Seoul to “refrain from committing acts that may aggravate the confrontation and tension.”

Both the 2010 and 2011 statements outlined a number of steps the South’s government should take to avoid trouble with Pyongyang. It urged Seoul to halt weapons purchases and end its military alliance with the U.S.

“Collaboration with outside forces leads to war and national ruin,” the 2011 message said. “The entire nation should never tolerate the criminal moves of pro-U.S. war hawks who stake their fate on foreign forces and drive the situation to the brink of war in collusion with them.”

The message also reiterated the North Korean regime’s oft-stated themes of independent development, which it puts into practice by limiting freedoms of its citizens, including their ability to travel and obtain information about the outside world while telling them there is no life better that the North Korean one.

“There are no party and people in the world as great as ours, which have an ever-victorious history and a highly promising future,” it said.

The New Year’s statement is printed in every major North Korean newspaper and read on state-run broadcasts. Its state news agency also distributed the entire message Saturday, along with seven separate news stories about it on that day and several more on Sunday.

Report 2 in the  Wall Street Journal:

North Korea’s authoritarian regime, in its annual New Year’s message, on Saturday underlined its desire to take over South Korea and warned the South’s government to stop what it called “north-targeted war moves” and a “smear campaign” against it.

Much of the nearly 6,000-word message repeated statements it made last year and in previous years. Most of it focused on a long-promoted drive by the North’s government to build a “prosperous nation” by 2012, the 100-year anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, who founded North Korea and was its absolute ruler from 1948 until his death in 1994.

Mr. Kim’s son, Kim Jong Il, has led North Korea since then and, in late September 2010, tapped his youngest son Kim Jong Eun as his heir apparent, in a sign the family will attempt a third generation of control over the nation of 24 million.

As in the 2010 statement, the last 1,500 words or so of the 2011 message was devoted to the decades-long tension between North and South Korea. The Korean peninsula was divided by other countries in the aftermath of World War II. Since then, North Korea’s regime has spoken of “reunification” under its totalitarian leadership.

South Korea’s government, meanwhile, envisions a united Korea with its democratic government in control. The North’s government calls that vision “antireunification” and “treachery.”

“Today there is no more vital task than national reunification for the Korean people,” the North’s message on Saturday said. “The stand of attaching importance to the nation, the stand toward independent reunification, is the touchstone by which to distinguish patriotism from treachery.”

The message indirectly referred to North Korea’s Nov. 23 attack of a South Korea-controlled island, the first attack by the North on South Korean land since the war of the 1950s. The North in Saturday’s message again blamed South Korea’s government and “outside forces,” a reference to the South’s allies the U.S. and Japan, for inciting the attack with “north-targeted war moves.”

“The danger of war should be removed and peace safeguarded in the Korean peninsula,” the message said. That was stronger language than it used in the 2010 New Year’s message, when it said, “The way for improving north-south relations should be opened.”

The 2011 statement went on to outline a number of steps the South’s government should take to avoid confrontation, including a halt to weapons purchases and its military alliance with the U.S. “Collaboration with outside forces leads to war and national ruin,” the message said. “The entire nation should never tolerate the criminal moves of pro-U.S. war hawks who stake their fate on foreign forces and drive the situation to the brink of war in collusion with them.”

It called for “active efforts” to “create an atmosphere of dialogue and cooperation” between the two Koreas and said “free travel of and exchanges between people from all walks of life should be ensured.”

The message also reiterated the North Korean regime’s oft-stated themes of independent development, which it puts into practice by limiting freedoms of its citizens, including their ability to travel and obtain information about the outside world while telling them there is no life better that the one they are leading.

“There are no party and people in the world as great as ours, which have an ever-victorious history and a highly promising future,” it said.

The New Year’s statement is one of the main messages of the year by the North’s leadership to its people. It is printed in every major North Korean newspaper and read on state-run broadcasts. Its state news agency distributed the entire message, along with seven separate news stories about it early Saturday.

Report 1 in Yonhap:

North Korea called Saturday for defusing tension with South Korea, warning of a “nuclear holocaust” should another war break out on the peninsula, as the impoverished communist state made its last annual pitch for economic revival ahead of a landmark year.

A joint New Year’s editorial by the North Korean press did not make clear allusions to the country’s ongoing hereditary succession nor did it repeat the 2010 call for ending the state of enmity with the United States even though it did renew a pledge for denuclearization.

The editorial, considered a blueprint for Pyongyang’s policy goals, came amid the highest level of animosity between the Koreas in decades after the North bombarded a South Korean island on Nov. 23, killing four people in one of the worst attacks since the 1950-53 Korean War.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has vowed retaliation while Seoul and Washington have teamed up to conduct joint military drills in a show of force to the North and a warning against provocation.

“Confrontation between north and south should be defused as early as possible,” the North said in the editorial jointly released by Rodong Sinmun, Joson Inmingun and Chongnyon Jonwi.

“If a war breaks out on this land, it will bring nothing but a nuclear holocaust,” it said, arguing that war was averted last year because of “our persevering efforts” and calling for the creation of “an atmosphere of dialogue and cooperation” this year.

North Korea typically makes calls for dialogue with the South in an effort to extract politically motivated aid, which Seoul has suspended since President Lee took office in early 2008.

The North also demanded that the South end its series of military exercises, accusing Seoul of aligning with “U.S. war hawks” and driving the situation to the brink of war.

The New Year’s message came after Lee expressed his hope earlier this week for the resumption of multilateral denuclearization-for-aid talks on the North. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson of the U.S. visited North Korea last month and won a pledge from the North to allow the return of international nuclear monitors on its soil.

The series of developments signaled a growing mood for the resumption of the stalled talks that include the two Koreas, the U.S., Russia, Japan and China. The so-called six-party negotiations have not been held since late 2008.

“The DPRK is consistent in its stand and will to achieve peace in Northeast Asia and denuclearization of the whole of the Korean peninsula,” the North’s joint editorial said, using the country’s official title, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

North Korea alarmed the world in November when it revealed through U.S. scholars that it was operating thousands of centrifuges to enrich uranium, a second track to building nuclear bombs.

The country, which has conducted two nuclear tests since 2006, claims the uranium enrichment, coupled with the construction of a light-water reactor, is for peaceful energy use. The U.S. sees the argument as a thin cover for advanced nuclear arms development.

Stressing that light industries are the “major front,” the North said standards of living for its people should be improved ahead of 2012, the year the leadership has designated as a moment in its history to rise as “a great, prosperous and powerful country.”

“Next year we will be greeting the centenary of the birth of President Kim Il-sung,” the country’s founder who passed his power to his son Kim Jong-il upon his death in 1994, the editorial said.

“We should launch an all-out, vigorous offensive for a breakthrough to realize the wish of the President to build a prosperous country,” it said, calling for a “full-scale offensive” to revive the moribund economy.

The North suffered extreme inflation and social unrest in some regions after a botched currency reform in late 2009 sent the prices of staples soaring high. The failure to reassert control on the market economy reportedly led authorities to make a public apology.

“Improving the economic management becomes more urgent at the moment, when the national economy is put on the trajectory of revitalization,” the editorial said, calling for a boost in the production of “primary consumer goods and other necessities widely used in life.”

“The sector of light industry should turn out commodities that would be favored by people,” it said.

Analysts have said the North will step up its efforts to address the economic plight of its people as it moves to justify its second hereditary power succession.

“Despite the attack on Yeonpyeong Island, North Korea is seen demonstrating an open-minded stance on inter-Korean dialogue and cooperation to tackle the current status of isolation,” said Chung Seong-chang, a senior analyst at the Sejong Institute in Seoul.

“However, I think military tensions would remain for the time being as the North also emphasized combat preparedness of its military,” Chung said.

The North unveiled the third son of its aging leader Kim Jong-il as a four-star general last year, anointing him as throne successor even though Kim Jong-un was no older than 28.

The editorial said the ruling party conference in September — in which Kim Jong-un rose to high political posts — marked a “a spirit of single-hearted unity to invariably defend the centre of unity and leadership despite the passage of time.” But it did not make comments that could be seen as directly related to succession.

Kim Jong-un has been touted by North Korean media as someone most capable of further developing the songun, or military-first, policy chartered by his father, who reportedly suffered a stroke in 2008.

The editorial said the 1.2 million-strong military should “conduct intense combat training in an atmosphere of actual battle as required by the tense situation,” warning the North will not pardon an act of invasion “even an inch.”

“We should further strengthen the militant might of the People’s Army,” it said, suggesting Pyongyang will continue to invest large resources in arms development despite economic difficulties.

The North claims it has developed nuclear arms to deter an invasion by the U.S., which signed a truce with the North at the end of the Korean War. The peninsula remains technically at war because no peace treaty has been signed.

Read the full stories here:
North Korea Issues New Year Warning
Wall Street Journal
Evan Ramstad

North Korea Warns South in Annual Message
Wall Street Journal
Evan Ramstad

N. Korea calls for ending tension with S. Korea, reviving economy
Sam Kim


DPRK economic activity in 2010

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)
NK Brief No. 10-12-29

In the New Year’s Joint Editorial issued last January, the North Korean government vowed to improve the lives of the people by focusing on light industry and agriculture. Early in December, the North Korean government-run media reflected on the year’s achievements, stating that advances in industry and improvements in the lives of the people had made unprecedented leaps in 2010.

As North Korea pushes forward with its attempt to “open the doors to a Strong and Prosperous Nation,” Pyongyang has poured significant effort into reviving its economy. In mid-December, the [North] Korean Central News Agency released a report on the 2010 activities of Kim Jong Il, noting that he had made 65 visits to sites related to the nation’s economy, more than twice as many as the 31 visits made to military sites. In 2009, Kim Jong Il made 58 visits to economic sites and 43 visits to military sites, suggesting that the leadership has shifted its focus to the economy this year.

On December 9, the Choson Sinbo published an article in which it highlighted the importance of improving the lives of the people and called an “economic renaissance” critical to the achievement of a “great and prosperous nation.” It also stressed the need for an independent people’s economy as the foundation for such a recovery.

As the North has worked to establish a self-sustaining economy this year, it has highlighted the Kimchaek Iron and Steel Complex as an example of ‘Juche’ production. North Korean media has highlighted the improvements in mining production, in Kimchaek as well as other areas, and has reported that the metals industry has undergone a “revolution” this year. The media has reported surprising production gains at the Hwanghae and Chollima steel complexes, and claim that these production levels have been repeated throughout the country.

Not only has the North celebrated “Juche steel”, but also “Juche textiles” and “Juche fertilizer.” In February, North Korea reopened the modernized “February 8 Vinalon Factory,” highlighting the factory as representative of the country’s independent textile production capacity and likening the new Vinalon factory to a new representation of North Korea’s socialist economy. On March 8, the KCNA called the Vinalon factory the new face of “the brilliant future of the Strong and Prosperous Nation.”

As for “Juche fertilizer,” the North’s media sang the praises of the Namhung Youth Chemical Complex, reporting that the anthracite gas process developed there allowed for steady agricultural production without needing to import fuel or other raw materials, and stated that if the process can be further institutionalized, it should be able to provide for the basic needs of the entire country.

Pyongyang has set as a goal the resolution of the country’s fertilizer shortage by producing one million tons of fertilizer by 2012 in the Hungnam Fertilizer Complex and the Namhung Youth Chemical Complex, stating that for every ton of fertilizer, it can produce ten tons of rice. The media has reported that the North will produce “over ten million tons of grain” in 2012 with the expected million tons of fertilizer.

Improvements in textiles, fertilizer, and other light industries are directly related to raising the standard of living for North Koreans. Kim Jong Il visited the Samilpo factory in Pyongyang in April, and for the rest of the year, state media heralded the advancements made in the factory and called for industries throughout the country to follow in its footsteps. Throughout the year, North Korean media highlighted numerous factories and light industries to illustrate the regime’s efforts at improving the standard of living.

The North Korean government has set a goal of resolving its food, clothing and housing shortages. In order to meet the food demands of the people, the regime seeks to increase grain output by boosting fertilizer production through ‘samilpo’-style factory enhancements. In order to assure everyone is clothed, the regime is relying on the Vinalon factory and increased domestic production. As for housing, the state has set its sights on the construction of 100,000 new houses by the year 2012.

At the forefront of the North’s push for modernization and increased production is its “Computer Numerical Control” (CNC), a vaguely defined idea that has been attributed to Kim Jong Un, the third son and probable successor of Kim Jong Il. As Pyongyang pursues a “strong and prosperous nation” by 2012, state-controlled think-tanks and industries are focusing on CNC as the means for modernization and increased productivity.


DPRK holds national meeting of agricultural workers

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)
NK Brief No. 10-3-4-1

As the failure of North Korea’s currency reform drives the country’s food woes to even greater depths, DPRK authorities and farmers from around the country met on February 25 for two days of meetings under the theme, “Let’s Focus All Efforts on Farming and Resolve the Food Problem!”

It has been four years since North Korean authorities called for a nationwide meeting of agricultural workers, with the last meeting in February 2006. From 1974 to 1994, meetings were held annually in January or February, when farmers had a chance to rest between the fall harvest and the spring planting season. However, after the famine in 1995, in which millions starved to death, no meetings were held for twelve years.

This year’s New Year’s Joint Editorial called for North Koreans to revolutionize the light industrial and agricultural sectors in order to improve the lives of the people, and for them to struggle to resolve the country’s ‘eating issues’. However, in the aftermath of last December’s failed currency reform, the North’s food problems actually worsened to the point that people are starving to death. This led authorities to hold a nationwide agricultural meeting in order to show their determination to focus efforts on resolving food shortages and to encourage farmers and other residents to focus on agriculture.

According to the (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the meetings were attended by “[Cabinet Premier] Kim Young Il, [National Defense Commission Vice-Chairman] Ri Yong Mu, and [Supreme People’s Assembly Chairman] Choe Tae Bok, leading officials of ministries and national institutions, party and people”s committees and agricultural guidance organs in provinces, cities and counties, officials of farm primary organizations, model farmers, scientists and technicians in the field of agriculture and officials of relevant industrial establishments.”

Vice-Premier Kwak Pom Gi presented a report, stressing, “On the agricultural front this year, marking the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Party, we must decisively ease the country’s food issue, [and] the people’s eating issue, charging forward with the improvement of the lives of the people and the construction of a strong and prosperous nation.” He also called for assistance to agricultural communities and related sectors, and for the prioritization of agricultural goods and materials.

According to a source in North Korea reporting to the South Korean organization Good Friends, deaths due to starvation in South Hamgyong Province’s Danchon city and South Pyongan Province’s Pyongsong city were reported to central Party authorities. This led to meetings on January 27 and February 1 of central Party members, cabinet officials and People’s Security authorities at which emergency measures to stave off famine were discussed.

Results of a survey of living conditions in Danchon and North Hamgyong Province’s Chongjin reported to central Party authorities revealed many deaths due to starvation, while currently, the most deaths due to lack of food appear to be occurring in South Pyongan Province’s Sunchon and Pyongsong cities. Last year, Party authorities in these cities turned over approximately 65 percent of harvests to the military, while farmers were only issued, on average, five months worth of rations.


DPRK focuses on economy in 2010: Aims to improve the standard of living by boosting agricultural and light industry output

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)
(NK Brief No.10-01-06-1)

On January 1, North Korea published its annual New Year’s Joint Editorial in the Rodong Sinmun (official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea), Josonimmingun (newspaper of the Korean People’s Army), and the Chongnyonjonwi (newspaper of the Central Committee of the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League).

The editorial introduces North Korea’s general policy direction for 2010. In the international realm, the editorial highlights the establishment of a peace regime between Pyongyang and Washington, as well as improving inter-Korean relations. Domestically, the editorial focused on improving the standard of living for the people by improving agriculture and light industries. It appears that the North has decided to focus on domestic and international stability.

This policy approach appears to be an attempt to strengthen the basis for the North’s drive to build a ‘Strong and Prosperous Nation’ by 2012, but in the mid- to long-term, it also seems to have been adopted with Kim Jong-eun’s succession in mind.

This year’s joint editorial focused primarily on the North’s economy. More than anything, it centered on improving the lives of the people by boosting light-industrial and agricultural output. This was highlighted in the editorial’s title, “Bring about a radical turn in the people’s standard of living by accelerating the development of light industry and agriculture once again this year that marks the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea,” and was a consistent theme throughout the article.

Focusing on increased economic output specifically in light industry and agriculture, it is clear that the Kim Jong Il regime is seeking to boost public support by solving food and clothing shortages.

It is also noteworthy that in the editorial’s section on the economy, there is absolutely no mention of the ‘national defense industry’ that has been prominent in previous New Year’s Joint Editorials. National defense has been prioritized in previous joint editorials, with one article emphasizing that “everything necessary for the national defense industry must first be ensured in order to meet the economic line of the Military-First Era.” The defense industry was briefly mentioned, however, in the editorial’s section emphasizing the importance of scientific and technological development.

Substantial points of the economic portion of the editorial include the following:

– The need to “bring about a radical turn in the people’s standard of living by accelerating the development of light industry and agriculture once again this year that marks the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea.”

-“Light industry and agriculture are the major fronts in the efforts for the improving of the peoples’ standard of living. . . . an all-Party, nationwide effort should be directed to mass-producing consumer goods.”

-“The agricultural sector should sharply increase grain output by thoroughly applying the Party’s policy of agricultural revolution, like improving seeds, double cropping and improving potato and soybean farming.”

-“We should radically increase state investment in fields related to the people’s lives, and all sectors and units should supply fully and in time the raw and other materials needed for the production of light-industrial goods.”

-“We should gain access to more foreign markets, and undertake foreign trade in a brisk way to contribute to economic construction and the improvement of the people’s standard of living.”

-“Socialist principles should be maintained in commodity circulation, and the quality of welfare services should be decisively improved.”

-“The fundamental secret of making a new leap in this year’s general offensive is in launching a campaign to push back the frontiers of science and technology in all sectors.”

-“The defense industry sector, a major front in pushing back the frontiers of science and technology, should continue to lead the efforts to open the gate to a great, prosperous and powerful country.”


Citizen Mobilization Kicks Off Early

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Daily NK
Jung Kwon Ho

According to sources within North Korea, citizens have been mobilized to produce fertilizer and ordered to submit scrap materials for use by the state in an attempt to bring to fruition the New Year’s Statement, in which light industry and agriculture were promoted as the main frontiers for development in 2010.

One source from North Hamkyung Province told The Daily NK on the 3rd, “The first battle of this year began on the 2nd of January. A decree was issued, stating that each adult resident has to provide 50 kilograms of fertilizer to surrounding farms.”

He went on, “Middle school students of 11 and above have to provide 30 kilograms of fertilizer to their school, and any senior citizen over the age of 60 has to provide 30 kilograms of fertilizer to their neighborhood office. This fertilizer production battle will continue until the end of March”.

This is an unusual duration, the source explained, “The annual fertilizer production battle is normally completed on February 15th, but this year the authorities are emphasizing the importance of agriculture and, as a result, declared the completion date to be the end of March.”

“The production of fertilizer is an annual event, however, its target volume and duration has doubled. The lack of available fertilizer has already initiated competition between workplaces to secure access to public toilets and dumping grounds.”

A different source in Yangkang Province explained how things were being done there, “Middle school students over the age of 15 up to adults under the age of 60 have to provide fertilizer privately to surrounding farms by sled. Students from 1st to 3rd grade in middle school and senior citizens over the age of 60 have to provide the fertilizer to a neighborhood location designated by municipal committees of the Party.”

According to the same source, the temperature in Hyesan was -26C on the 2nd when workers from each workplace and factory, and residents of people’s units, assembled in the square in front of the Kim Jong Suk Art Hall to transport the fertilizer by sled to nearby farms in Chun-dong, Geomsan-dong and Wun-dong, and to Hwajeon Cooperative Farm, causing problems.

The source explained that the farms were up to 16 kilometers away, so, “Numerous people suffered from frostbite during the transfer.”

In addition to production of fertilizer, each workplace and organization received instructions to submit scrap metal, paper, rubber and vinyl. On this topic, the source commented, “Residents are making a hoo-ha about the requirement to submit unused materials for light industry like scrap metals. During the vacation in January, each middle school student is supposed to produce fertilizer and provide ten kilograms of scrap metal plus five kilograms of scrap paper and rubber to a designated depot. When such tasks are completed, the student gets a certificate from the depot and then has to show it to school.”

The source concluded, “Residents are already concerned about the possibility of increased compulsory mobilization even worse than that for the 150-Day Battle last year.”