July 10 (UPI) — North Korean authorities are stepping up anti-South Korea lectures following the inter-Korea basketball tournament in Pyongyang last week, according to a South Korean press report, but ordinary North Koreans are not persuaded by the propaganda.
Daily NK reported Monday the state has been criticizing the South, calling its wealthier rival a “decaying and diseased” society that must be kept at arm’s length.
As diplomatic engagement increases contact between the two Koreas and reduces hostility across the border, authorities may be worried ordinary North Koreans might view the South favorably.
“On [July] 3, a lecture explaining how South Korea is a decaying and diseased society was held for locals,” said Daily NK’s source in North Hamgyong Province. “They have continued to slander South Korea relentlessly since that time.”
According to the source, the lecturer said South Korean society is polarized between rich and poor and South Koreans are “dominated by money.”
“The lecturer criticized the South as a society where people are indiscriminately killed as robbers loom large, a society where even parents and children kill each other over money,” the source said.
The source added anti-South lectures were shelved for quite some time, but they may be being delivered as the state worries about the impact of engagement on the people’s perceptions of the South.
Daily NK reported the lectures are not having the desired effect, and its source said the North Koreans attending the lecture appeared disinterested or bored.
“At first people paid attention because it was a lecture on South Korea, but as the criticisms continued people began to nod off,” the source said. “Not many people believe the propaganda.”
Kim Jong Un has also made changes to his public activities.
The North Korean leader previously attended ceremonies marking the death anniversary of biological grandfather and founder Kim Il Sung, but his name was not mentioned in the coverage of the ceremony in the Workers’ Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun, according to Newsis.
Kim was not in attendance, according to reports.