N.Koreans 'Filled with Nostalgia for Kim Il-sung'

      March 17, 2010 10:46

      North Koreans are feeling nostalgic for the days of nation founder Kim Il-sung at a time of economic hardship in the wake of a disastrous currency reform, NGO Good Friends said Tuesday.

      According to Good Friends, North Koreans miss the high economic growth rates and comparatively good life of the 1960s and 70s, for which they credit Kim senior. In those days the government in true Stakhanovite fashion gave innovative workers political rewards such as hero titles and national prizes as well as cash rewards, boosting their self-esteem and stimulating their enthusiasm for work.

      But the current regime of Kim Jong-il gives people no material rewards and only clamps down on people's business activities on ideological grounds. The "military first" ideology and concomitant pouring of massive resources into defense is also widely unpopular, Good Friends claimed. "Public sentiment has deteriorated because the government has spent little on, and paid little attention to, ordinary people's livelihoods for a long time," it added.

      The currency reform is widely seen as botched due to lack of preparation, it said.

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