North Korea announces amnesty to celebrate its 70th anniversary

The amnesty will take effect on 1st August. The international community has criticised North Korea for its prisons. For analysist, Kim Jong-un wants to secure his people’s loyalty in wake of a changing environment after the summit with the United States.

Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Pyongyang announced a general amnesty for next month to mark the 70th anniversary of the state’s founding, North Korean media reported today.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that amnesty will be granted to those who were convicted of crimes against the state and the people. It will come into effect on 1st August.

The country’s media note that the authorities are expected to take measures to help prisoners get back to a normal life. North Korean gulag-like prisons have often been criticised by the international community. It is estimated that around 120.000 political prisoners are detained.

This is not the first time North Korea frees some of its prisoners. This happened in 2015, on the 70th anniversary of the liberation from Japanese occupation, and in 2012, to celebrate the 100th birthday of North Korea’s founder Kim Il-sung and the 70th anniversary of his son Kim Jong-il.

According to some analysts, Kim Jong-un is trying to gain the loyalty of his people in a changing environment following the summit with US President Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, diplomatic talks between the two countries continue. Today, US and North Korean officials met in the village of Panmunjom to discuss the return of the bodies of 200 American soldiers who died in the Korean war (1950-53).