Kim Jong Un believes that officials who abuse power and infringe the people’s rights must be “mercilessly punished,” an authoritative front-page article on the front page of the country’s top newspaper said Tuesday.
The full-page “joint special article” by ruling party daily the Rodong Sinmun and the party’s monthly theoretic journal Kulloja is the first of such kind in more than four months, and sought to underline the “People-First Politics” of the DPRK leader.
“It is our leader’s political gospel that those who commit acts that infringe upon the people’s interests and rule above the people must be mercilessly punished, regardless of their positions and contributions [to the country],” the joint article said.
The North Korean leader, it continued, is brought into a fit of rage when he sees his people’s dignity, rights, and demands violated.
A late February meeting of the North Korean Politburo, it continued, served as a means to “strike a strong blow” to “anti-party, anti-people, anti-socialist acts of the bureaucraticists and people in power.”
That meeting, while primarily focusing on the country’s COVID-19 response efforts, also saw Kim Jong Un criticize “officials of the Party cadre training institution” for involvement in corruption, as well as dismiss two top officials.
The leader’s reported fight against corruption has been a running theme since February’s Politburo session, with state media referring to crooked cadres as “poisonous plants” to be “uprooted at the right moment.”
Following the late February demotions, a provincial cadre was in March reportedly purged for drinking, “debauchery,” and breaching the country’s strict coronavirus prevention rules.
Tuesday’s joint article also praised Kim’s leadership in preventing the spread of novel coronavirus, underscoring his “insightful foreknowledge and firm determination” in ensuring that no cases of COVID-19 have been found in the country.
“The world is single-heartedly praising the fact that ‘the virus that does not yield to anybody else only got defeated by DPRK,'” the article claimed.
The joint article also lauded Kim Jong Un’s leadership in diplomacy and military.
Thanks to Kim, it said, North Korea now “holds in its hand the initiative and control over the overall state of affair… with our country’s dignity and status reaching the highest stage.”
Thanks to Kim’s leadership, the piece continued, the country is capable of relentlessly surprising the world with the “juche weapons that the world has not known of.”
“It is our leader’s unwavering faith and audacity… that a country’s dignity cannot be traded for a jar of rice or money. We should find a way out towards prosperity on our own.”
This section emphasizing national dignity over economic gains serves as a sign that “the resumption of denuclearization negotiation, regardless of the U.S. Presidential election results, will be difficult,” one expert told NK News.
“Publishing a joint-bylined special article means that a high-level editorial writer at the Rodong and the theorists of Kulloja poured a lot of effort together,” Cheong Seong-chang, Director of the Center for North Korean Studies at the Sejong Institute, said.
Despite this significance, he noted, the piece did not feature any major new policy: a sign that the timing of the article may be more important that its content.
“North Korea tends to publish important ronsol (special article) or jongron (political essay) stressing the ‘superiority’ of the North Korean socialist system whenever they feel isolated by the international community,” he argued.
Pyongyang’s recent economic issues, then, may be motivating the release of the article, Cheong continued.
“Responding to the current crisis, North Korea cannot but emphasize the ‘superiority’ of the North Korean leader and stress people’s loyalty to him.”
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Kim Jong Un believes that officials who abuse power and infringe the people's rights must be "mercilessly punished," an authoritative front-page article on the front page of the country's top newspaper said Tuesday.
The full-page “joint special article” by ruling party daily the Rodong Sinmun and the party’s monthly theoretic journal Kulloja is the first of such kind in more than four months, and sought to underline the "People-First Politics" of the DPRK leader.