Kim Jong-un bans drinking and singing in a bid to increase his grip on North Korea's people
The leader of the secretive state has managed to dominate international headlines for consecutive months now. As North Korea's relationships with the outside world continue to disintegrate, some of the West's biggest powerhouses are experiencing great pressure to rein in the threat that Kim Jong-un appears so intent on leveling.
However, it's clear that the greatest threat that Kim Jong-un poses is not to us, but to his loyal subjects, who are indoctrinated since birth to be loyal to the personality cult of the Kim dynasty. Not only does the North Korean schooling system aim to produce citizens that are faithful to the teachings of "Generalissimo Kim Il-sung and Commander Kim Jong-il", but they are taught since kindergarten to hate the state's enemies, namely, American imperialists, Japanese militarists and, of course, South Korea (the so called "gang of traitors").
But according to intelligence briefings given to South Korean lawmakers on Monday, Kim Jong-un is intent on finding new ways to subjugate the population. Certainly, he has reportedly banned gatherings that involve singing and drinking in a bid to increase control over his subjects.
North Korea's despotic leader has purportedly banned gatherings which involve drinking and singing to gain control over his subjects, and also to limit the impact of crushing economic sanctions imposed on the country. The sanctions were imposed by Western powers in response to North Korea's ongoing commitment to developing nuclear devices and ballistic missiles.
Speaking on the subject, the South Korean National Intelligence Service asserted: "[Pyongyang] has banned any gatherings related to drinking, singing and other entertainment and is strengthening control of outside information."
The South Korean Intelligence Service also reported that two top-ranking officials were punished after Kim Jong-un ordered an inspection of the military's General Political Bureau, whose aim is to ensure that soldiers are adhering to the party line. The bureau's chief, Hwang Pyong So, and his deputy, Kim Won Hong, were allegedly the reprimanded officers.
While the scope of the punishment remains unclear, experts believe that it could be indicative of an emerging power struggle between the North Korean leader's inner circle.
The South Korean Intelligence Service also said that they are monitoring closely for new missile launches in North Korea. They stated:
"The agency is closely following the developments because there is a possibility that North Korea could fire an array of ballistic missiles this year under the name of a satellite launch and peaceful development of space."
This is just the latest move made by the leader of the hermit state to limit the already controlled conditions that the population lives under. Largely believed to be one of the most repressive, authoritarian states in the world; King Jong Un maintains dominance by curtailing travel abroad and by enforcing public executions, forced labour and arbitrary detention.
While such limitations may appear absurd and farcical to us citizens of the Western world, it's clear that this is very much a reality for the people of North Korea. And as such, their strife should remain at the forefront when discussing matters related to Kim Jong Un's regime.
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