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View more articles by Colin Zwirko
Colin Zwirko is an NK News correspondent based in Seoul.
North Korean media on Wednesday published a range of new propaganda posters, calling on citizens to follow orders given by leader Kim Jong Un in his New Year Address and hailing recent ruling party decrees on the economy and scientific development.
The new posters, published by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), come amid a slew of political events in the country intended to shore up support for Kim’s New Year speech, and feature imagery focusing on heavy industry, the ruling party’s five-year strategy for national economic development, and the agricultural sector.
They are intended to “inspire the people to carry through the tasks set forth by Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un in his historic New Year Address,” state media reported, and “to work hard in the indefatigable spirit on the principle of self-reliance.”
“Let all of us turn out in implementing the tasks set forth in the New Year Address!” one poster reads, while another featuring the year 2019 says “Let us open a new road of advance for socialist construction under the uplifted banner of self-reliance!”
The metallurgical and chemical industries are described as the “two pillars of economic construction,” and an increase is encouraged in the agricultural sector – the “major point of attack in socialist economic construction.”
One poster focusing on science and technology features satellites in the sky, and says that “talented personnel and science and technology are our major strategic resources and weapons, with which to bring about a great leap forward in socialist construction!”
In a similar vein, a poster featuring a scientist, a propagandist, and an industry worker says “young people should become pioneers of new technology, creators of new culture and pathfinders for a great leap forward!”
Technological advances are also encouraged in the fishing sector, saying the country should “open a new path for developing the fishing industry!”
Kim Jong Un expanded upon this point in his New Year’s Address, saying “the fishing sector should consolidate its material and technical foundations, put fishing and aquatic culture on a scientific basis and protect and increase aquatic resources.”
Similar to posters released in the past promoting various domestically produced consumer goods, one new propaganda poster released Thursday features a factory worker holding a box of shoes from the Maebongsan brand, which are produced in Wonsan Leather Shoe Factory.
“The sector of light industry should produce and supply various kinds of consumer goods that are favored by the people!” the poster reads.
Kim said in his speech this should be achieved “by consistently upholding the banner of modernizing production lines, obtaining at home everything needed for production and improving quality.”
Other brands visible in the poster include Taesongsan soccer and volleyballs, Mindulle (Dandelion) notebooks, Ryongaksan laundry detergent, Unhasu (Milky Way Galaxy) cosmetics, and Sonamu (Pine) backpacks, all of which have been heavily promoted in state media in recent times.
Similar posters are typically released annually early in the year, to include new quotes and slogans from Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s Address.
Posters released throughout the course of 2018 covered the same themes and industries, though new batches can point to which brands the government considers most worthy of promotion, and what new developments may be highlighted in the transportation sector in the coming year.
In this case, a new subway train design appears again after being featured in a unification-themed poster released earlier this month and in posters last year.
That new series of posters, while mostly inter-Korean-themed, also included clues as to how North Korea may approach negotiations with the U.S. this year, featuring a call for the end of joint ROK-U.S. military drills .
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured image: DPRK Today