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  • » 02/23/2011, 00.00

    NORTH KOREA

    First public protests against the Kims’ regime

    Joseph Yun Li-sun

    For the first time ever, small groups of North Koreans protested in public against Pyongyang’s Stalinist government. For the first time also, no one betrayed them. Fear of the “third” Kim is stronger than all else.

    Seoul (AsiaNews) – The wave of protests that began in the Mideast appears to have reached even North Korea. For the first time in the history of the Stalinist regime, groups of ordinary citizens have protested in three cities demanding food and electricity, sources say. The event is exceptional and confirms the economic difficulties, especially concerning food supplies, people have to face under the Communist government.

    According to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper, citing a North Korean source, demonstrations broke out on 14 February, two days before Kim Jong-il’s birthday, in the cities of Jongju, Yongchon and Sonchon, not far from the border of China.

    The State Security Department (the all-powerful agency under Kim Jong-il’s direct control) investigated the incident but failed to identify the people who started the commotion when they met with a wall of silence.

    “When such an incident took place in the past, people used to report their neighbours to the security forces, but now they're covering for each other," the source said.

    Korean sources told AsiaNews that this represents a crack in the prevailing mindset. “Different factors are at play. On the one hand, the country’s worsening economic situation is certainly one reason. The regime is in fact unable to feed most of its people. On the other, changes at the top are another as Kim Jong-un gets ready to succeed his father on the throne in Pyongyang.”

    The younger Kim is “feared by the population,” the source said. “He is viewed as bloodthirsty and mad. “Almost everyone thinks he was behind the military attacks against ROKS Cheonan and an island under South Korean control, which led to restrictions on humanitarian aid from the South.  This has further worsened standards of living in the North. North Koreans are ready to do just about anything to stop the succession.”

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    See also

    25/02/2008 NORTH KOREA
    The New York Philharmonic arrives in Pyongyang, anti US posters disappear
    The orchestra, directed by Lorin Maazel, will perform two concerts beneath the US and North Korean flags. Kim Jong-il along with, according to some, Condoleezza Rice will attend one of the concerts. In Seoul stalwart conservative Lee Myung-bak, takes office.

    11/10/2005 NORTH KOREA
    North Korea marks 60th anniversary of Workers' Party

    The appointment of the successor to the leader, Kim Jong-il is expected. It is likely that one of his three sons will be chosen. But the "communist dynasty" would come up against resistance from politicians and military personnel.



    27/10/2010 NORTH KOREA
    A “baker” feeds hungry North Korean children
    George Rhee, a South Korean with British passport, has opened three small bakeries, one near the coastal city of Sonbong, in North Korea. Thanks to his efforts, 2,500 children are fed free each day, keeping the pangs of hunger away. Meanwhile, North Korea’s regime asks South Korea for food aid as its situation becomes desperate.

    18/12/2009 KOREA
    Seoul admits only the churches help the North
    A ministry official says: "We can not operate well, we have not even heard from Pyongyang. Only religious groups and NGOs succeed." Dissident confirms and explains: "They discriminate against us, Christians do not."

    12/06/2012 NORTH KOREA
    Kim regime honors Kim Jong-suk Christian mother of dictator
    In recent days, a campaign launched to commemorate first wife of Kim Il-sung, who gave her life to the "dear leader" Kim Jong-il. She died in 1949, was part of an ancient Christian family in Korea just like her husband, who disowned the faith to build a personal cult.



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