North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un vowed to wage a “do-or-die battle” against “non-socialist” practices in North Korea in a statement released by North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Thursday.
Kim made the remarks in a letter addressed to North Korea’s largest trade union, the General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea (GFTUK), which met for the first time in five years for its eighth congress in Pyongyang from May 25-May 26, according to KCNA.
“They should bring home to them the truth that the struggle against the anti-socialist and non-socialist practices is a do-or-die battle to defend the working-class purity and lifeline of our style of socialism,” Kim wrote in the letter, released by KCNA on May 27.
Kim — who leads North Korea’s ruling communist party, the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) — said GFTUK’s primary task was to “prepare the working class and all other trade union members as possessors of the communist faith who fight with a conviction in the bright future of our style of socialism.”
He urged the trade union body to force its members to “observe socialist principles so that unsound practices cannot ‘sprout even in the slightest degree’ and to take strict measures to prevent the ‘slightest alien tendency,'” according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.
Kim’s diatribe against non-socialist practices on Thursday comes one month after he told government officials heading North Korea’s communist Youth League “to closely manage the ‘speech, hairstyle and attire of young people’ as well as watch for ‘abnormal activities and psychological changes’ or ‘spaces where exotic lifestyles infest,'” in a letter released by KCNA on April 30.
Kim’s message was addressed to “thousands of people attending the Youth League’s 10th congress on Thursday [April 29],” according to NK News. The letter “spoke of a failure to control the country’s youngest generations, who need to be shaped into more ideologically pure party members so that all North Koreans can ‘lead a happy life within 15 years.'”
“If you look at the young people who are involved in illegal and criminal activities, they are young people who are particularly separated from the group or who hate organizational control,” Kim said in the letter, according to KCNA.
“The dangerous poison tarnishing the nature of Korean-style socialism at present is the anti-socialist and non-socialist practices,” he added.
Kim’s efforts to reinforce communist ideology in North Korea come amid the country’s economic fallout from international sanctions imposed on Pyongyang in recent years to deter the communist regime from producing nuclear weapons, as well as the country’s struggle with the Chinese coronavirus pandemic. Though Kim has claimed North Korea has “zero” cases of the disease, the nation shut its borders in January 2020 at the start of the pandemic. Observers interpreted the action as an attempt by North Korea to contain its own domestic Chinese coronavirus epidemic.