The Choson Youth Alliance, an ethnic Koreans’ organization in Japan, visited North Korea from August 14-22, the Choson Sinbo reported on September 14.
According to a YouTube video clip posted by the Sinbo, the youth organization, affiliated with the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon), visited a number of places in North Korea. This included locations for ideological education, tourist attractions and industrial sites, like the Mount Paektu Songun Youth Power Station and Jangchon Vegetable Greenhouse in Pyongyang.
“I was impressed to see that the youth are sincerely working on such difficult construction projects, and I decided that I also will do my best in Japan as a youth,” says a girl in the video.
The video also showed entertainment facilities like the Munsu Water Park, a roller skate playground and a hair shop.
“This is propaganda, kind of ideological education for the youth,” Daniel Roh, CEO of the Peninsula Monitor Group told NK News. Roh indicated that the purpose was to popularize the North Korean system among the young generation, saying that supporting North Korea’s system in Japan doesn’t make sense anymore.
Their destinations also included Panmunjom at the DMZ, the famous cold noodle restaurant Okryugwan, the recently refurbished Sinchon Museum, Mount Paektu and Mangyongdae – the birthplace of national founder Kim Il Sung.
An expert said the Choson Youth Alliance in Japan is a very active organization.
“Chongryon organizations’ visits to North Korea are very frequent,” Cho Kyung-hee, research professor at Sungkonghoe University, told NK News.
According to KCNA Watch, students of the Chongryon-affiliated Choson University visited the statue of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on August 29, while a delegation of officials of the Chongryon Commercial Association visited North Korea in July and the Veteran Officials of Chongryon visited the North in June. The tours of the Commercial Association and Veteran Officials both included stops at Mangyongdae.
Choson schoolteachers stayed in North Korea from August 12-24, visiting Pyongyang, Kaesong, Wonsan and Mount Kumgang. The teachers’ visit was evidently meant to reinforce ethnic education in Japan.
“To provide real information about the motherland to students, all of the teachers decided, after numerous discussions, to visit North Korea, celebrating the 70th year of liberation under the purpose of looking at the reality of the motherland,” the article from the Choson Sinbo reads.
The article also implied the sanctions have increased the difficulty of visiting North Korea.
“It is third time for the Second Choson Elementary School teachers in Tokyo to visit the motherland. It was implemented in August 1999 and August 2002, but suspended by the Japanese government’s sanctions against Choson (North Korea), which prohibited the Mangyongbong 92 (ferry),” the article reads.
Roh said currently that the Chongryon-affiliated organizations’ visits to North Korea are conducted via Beijing, as the Mangyongbong 92 is not allowed to enter Japan.
“(The ferry) used to work like a floating embassy, and deliver money from Japan,” he said.
Featured Image: Choson Sinbo YouTube
Join the influential community of members who rely on NK News original news and in-depth reporting.
Subscribe to read the remaining 489 words of this article.