Pyongyang Elite 'Volunteer' for Flood Recovery Efforts

  • By Kim Myong-song

    September 08, 2020 11:07

    North Korean state media on Monday claimed that some 300,000 members of the Workers Party in Pyongyang have responded to a call to help with recovery efforts in the provinces after recent floods.

    The claim came just a day after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un urged party members in the capital to "come to typhoon-hit areas."

    On Sept. 6 alone, "some 300,000 party members pledged to help with recovery from damage in North and South Hamgyong Provinces with eagerness to follow the party's initiatives," the Rodong Sinmun reported.

    But that would mean every single party member in the capital except perhaps the elderly and the sick signed up, a source said, which makes it highly improbable.

    North Korean railway workers in Pyongyang on Sept. 6 pledge to help in typhoon-hit areas, in this photo from the North's official Rodong Sinmun daily.

    The regime seems increasingly desperate to appease public sentiment after the triple whammy of international sanctions, the coronavirus epidemic and devastating floods.

    Last week, Kim released an open letter in the daily after inspecting areas hit by typhoon Maysak. In the letter, Kim urged people to volunteer for damage recovery, saying that some 12,000 elite party members from the capital would be sent to the Hamgyong provinces.

    Kim was also pictured looking cross alongside reports that he fired apparatchiks in some other flood-hit parts.

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