Anti-Corruption Drive Grips North Korea
Several sources are reporting ongoing anti-corruption drives in the North. First, the Hankyoreh reports that the heads of several high officials rolled after a probe revealed widespread bribery and diversion of South Korean aid to jangmadang. In particular, the National Economic Cooperation Council, a body tasked to conduct business with the South is under particular scrutiny. Enraged, Kim Jong Il was reported to have said:
“Even those who have eaten for free 1 gram of flour from South Korea should cough it up.”
The DailyNK has a story about corruption in the 39th Department of the KWP, a department whose role is to earn foreign currency for Kim Jong Il’s “Royal Court” economy. According to one source, the chief of the Daesung General Bureau was demoted for embezzling 1.4 million U.S. dollars. This money was supposedly linked to the Banco Delta Asia funds the U.S. froze and then released to the North last year.
Meanwhile, the KCNA quotes a February 2nd Nodong Shinmun editorial calling on people to “smash anti-imperialists moves:”
To smash any criminal moves of the imperialists and reactionaries is an urgent task common to the progressives in their struggle to defend and advance socialism. What is of weighty importance in frustrating the imperialists’ moves against socialism is for all revolutionary parties and peoples to boost support and solidarity with socialist countries in unity.
The Nodong Shinmun released a similarly-themed editorial on January 31st.