Remember that doctored-up photo from Kim, Jong-Il’s funeral I’d mentioned last time? Well, they will be dealt with soon enough:
“From the 29th, enterprises at every level and people’s units started criticism sessions. Those who were not in attendance at commemorative events were branded ‘traitors’; those who were not sufficiently sincere during mourning events became ‘reactionaries’.” The source added that this is generating fear in the people, explaining, “When the North Korean authorities say that the people were insincere it basically means a declaration of war on those who did things like not crying or only attended once, so people are feeling very uneasy.” “There is an order from the Party to finish the criticism by January 8th, so there are ongoing investigations and discussions involving criticism every day,’ he added, before noting, “Those people who brought white flowers from their homes to the statue instead of newly made ones are also targets for punishment.”The North Korean authorities mobilized people from all sectors of society to mourn Kim Jong Il in various ways from December 19th to the 29th.
Yes, because if you can be outside to hock your imported items, you should be able to stand outside in the freezing cold, and cry for the Dear Leader! If not for him, at least for the fact that you’ve had to spend time away, wasting away hours you could be using to earn money for your family. Or, you could mourn the fact that [more stable]foreign currency is now banned in markets. I wonder how this will affect the Pyongyang residents who cater to the occasional foreign tourist. Probably not a whole lot. It probably won’t affect Kim, Jong-Nam, (Kim, Jong-Il’s eldest son) either, who came back to North Korea briefly, to visit his father’s grave. Coming from Beijing, he probably didn’t have a lot of time to convert that RMB to Won. Seriously though, everyone knows that this is less about promoting the North Korean Won, and more about local government officials stealing more foreign currency for their own slush funds.
UPDATE January 16, 2012
Kim, JongNam comments on how he isn’t really surprised at his father’s death, and takes a somewhat fatalistic view.
Also, North Korea denies claims that they’re rounding people up for displaying “lack of sincerity” during the funeral processions. Refer to this clip:
Regardless if you think they lack any sincerity, if you watch the clip long enough, you’ll still see a flurry of people walking about, as if the mourners aren’t even there. That would be a lot of people to put to prison.