North Korea plans crackdown as Kim urges internal unity

SEOUL – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his top lieutenants have urged a crackdown on officials abusing their power and committing other “unsound and non-revolutionary acts,” state media reported on Monday, as Kim seeks greater internal unity a COVID-19 outbreak and economic difficulties.

It was not clear what specific actions were mentioned at Sunday’s meeting of the ruling Labor Party. But possible government crackdowns on such alleged acts could be an attempt to tighten Kim’s grip on his people and push them to rally behind his leadership in the face of domestic difficulties, some observers say.

Kim and other senior party secretaries discussed “an intensified fight against unsound and non-revolutionary acts, including abuse of power and bureaucracy, which has been uncovered among some party officials,” the official Korean Central News Agency said.

Kim ordered strengthening the authority of the party’s examination commission and other local discipline monitoring systems to promote the party’s “monolithic leadership” and “the party’s broad political activities through the strong discipline system,” KCNA said.

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Kim has previously called for fights against “anti-socialist practices” at home on occasion over the past two years amid external concerns about his country’s fragile economy, which has been battered by pandemic-related border closures, UN sanctions and his own mismanagement.

The north’s heightened restrictions on movement following the outbreak of COVID-19 could further weigh on the country’s economic difficulties, some experts say.

North Korea admitted on May 12 that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus had infected people, and went on to say that about 4.5 million people – more than 17% of its 26 million population – had contracted a fever and only 72 had died. Foreign experts largely doubt that the outbreak was North Korea’s first, and they believe statistics released in state media are being manipulated to prevent political damage to Kim while strengthening internal control and promoting his leadership.

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During a Labor Party conference last week, Kim claimed the pandemic situation had passed the stage of a “serious crisis” and ordered officials to “fix the shortcomings and evils in the anti-epidemic work” and take steps to build the anti-epidemic of the country country to do. pandemic capability.

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https://www.local10.com/news/world/2022/06/13/north-korea-plans-crackdown-as-kim-pushes-for-internal-unity/ North Korea plans crackdown as Kim urges internal unity

Sarah Y. Kim

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