26 April, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 12/20/2011
KOREA
In Pyongyang, people cry for food, not Kim
by Joseph Yun Li-sun
Source tells AsiaNews that the grief seen on national TV “is not linked to the dictator’s death” but rather to hunger, concern about the coming winter and fear of the future. People want peace and an end to an “era” that “was very dark”.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – The sorrow expressed by North Koreans following Kim Jong-il’ death, which national TV showed with great emphasis, “is not linked to the dictator’s death. Of course, some are sad for what happened, but they are connected to the regime; they are not ordinary people. Most are crying because they are relieved as well as afraid about the future. Above all, they are hungry,” a source living and working near the Demilitarised Zone told AsiaNews.

What is broadcast, the source explained, “is propaganda masquerading as a spontaneous show of grief. The fact is that there is no food in North Korea and that 2 million people might not survive the winter. As the new dictator, Kim Jong-un (Kim Jong-il’s third son) has a reputation for cruelty, people have good reasons to cry, but we’d be wrong to think that it is the end of an era, as suggested on TV. This era was very dark.”

When the founder of North Korea’s ruling dynasty, Kim Il-sung, died, there was genuine sorrow, the Daily NK writes. His passing, the online newspaper run by North Korean exiles, came at a time when people still believed in the socialist dream. Unlike his son, Kim Il-sung was not a madman. The country suffered but not as much as under Kim Jong-il whose reign has been blighted by terrific famines.

“People are more worried about the future of the country,” a source from Hoeryeong in North Hamkyung Province said. “People will feel relieved that the suffocating rule of Kim Jong Il is over, rather than grief for the leader, they will think to themselves that ‘peace has finally come’.”

A generational factor also plays a role. “When Kim Il Sung died the people did not feel anxious because Kim Jong Il was trained well from a young age, but Kim Jong Eun does not understand the regime well,” a source in Onsung said.

“This has to do with Confucian thought mixed with Stalinist dogma,” the source told AsiaNews. “According to North Korean sociology, this mixture means that an older man cannot succeed a younger one. It would undermine a smooth transition of power. In a nation like North Korea, this is scary because everything hangs on a thread.”

Although impossible to verify, North Korea has an estimated population of 22 million, half of whom live below the poverty line of less than one US dollar a day.

Some dissidents estimate that agriculture has been destroyed by 80 per cent to boost the regime’s military plans, including its nuclear programme.

With a cold winter approaching, the authorities have neither the money nor the food to meet the challenge.

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
04/15/2011 NORTH KOREA
Kim Jong-un staking succession on the ‘Day of the Sun’
by Joseph Yun Li-sun
02/29/2008 NORTH KOREA
Clapton invitation means Kim Jong-il has chosen his heir
04/07/2011 NORTH KOREA
People’s Assembly opens amid famine and weapons in Pyongyang
by Joseph Yun Li-sun
09/27/2010 NORTH KOREA
Army appoints "third Kim" delegate to Congress
by Joseph Yun Li-sun
09/09/2008 NORTH KOREA
North Korea marks 60 years amidst hunger and uncertainties
by Joseph Kim

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope remembers and prays for "latest tragedy" of migrants, "our brothers and sisters" who "are seeking happiness"At the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis says he is praying for the hundreds of victims in a sinking off the coast of Libya. An appeal to the international community to "act decisively and promptly." "Every baptized person is called to witness in word and deed, that Jesus is risen, He is alive and present in our midst." The Christian message "is not a theory, an ideology or a complex system of precepts and prohibitions, or moralism, but a message of salvation, a concrete event, even a person: the Risen Christ, the living and only Savior of all" . The Pope will be in Turin on June 21 to honor the Shroud, the exposition of which begins today.
SAUDI ARABIA – YEMEN
Saudi war in Yemen masks widening domestic tensions
by Afshin ShahiSaudi Arabia is using the conflict in Yemen to control domestic problems, especially social inequalities and religious sectarianism. However, whilst the royal family flaunts its wealth, some 20 per cent of the population lives in poverty. Many disgruntled young Saudis end up becoming "foreign fighters" for the Islamic state (IS). Some 15 per cent of the Saudi population is Shia, under the heavy thumb of the Sunni-dominated state. Afshin Shahi, director of the Centre for the Study of Political Islam and lecturer in International Relations and Middle East Politics at University of Bradford, provides the following lucid analysis.
VATICAN
Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.