The official propaganda of the North Korean regime has reported this Friday that Kim Jong-un has urged to launch a new ” arduous march “, the campaign that the regime already used to deal with the famine it suffered in the 1990s. . The plan is designed to face the difficulties that the country suffers due to the pandemic and international sanctions .
North Korea faces the most isolated moment in the last 20 years, which is why, during a speech at a conference of secretaries of the single party cells, the North Korean leader mentioned the gonanui haenggun – the “arduous march” or ” march of adversity “-.
“I have decided to ask the organs of the Workers’ Party at all levels, including the Central Committee , and the secretaries of the cells to carry out another new and more difficult ‘arduous march’ to relieve our people of the difficulties” , announced the supreme leader during his proclamation.
With the collapse of the public food distribution system following the dissolution of the Soviet Union – the regime’s main economic sponsor – in 1991, the country launched a campaign that appealed to the spirit of the “arduous march” in reference to a historical moment of the founder of the country , Kim Il-sung .
The fable tells how the now ” eternal president ” of North Korea survived the entire winter of 1938-39 fighting in Manchuria the troops of the Japanese empire -the colonial dominator of the Korean peninsula-.
Supposedly, Kim Il-sung and his guerrillas successfully faced “blizzards”, “starvation”, “thousands of enemies” and temperatures “below 20 degrees”. The “arduous march” ended up becoming for the North Koreans a synonym for the very serious famine – a term that in turn became taboo so as not to appeal to the failure of their economic model – which killed some three million people in the United States. nineties.
“There are many obstacles and difficulties on our way, and therefore our effort to make the decisions of the eighth party congress a reality is not always going to be a placid journey, ” Kim Jong-un warned on Thursday.
Already in January, the president had warned of the difficult times the country was going through the Congress of the Workers’ Party . In his speech, he admitted that North Korea was experiencing its ” worst days ” in relation to the hardships generated by the sanctions at a time when dialogue with the US to lift economic punishments has been at a standstill since 2019 .
Added to this is the covid pandemic that has caused the country to suffer further impoverishment . The borders have been closed since January 2020, which is preventing the entry of vital income for the economy such as those generated by tourism or foreign investment, both mainly from China , the main ally of the regime. The strong border control has almost completely eliminated trade with the Asian giant since October.
China accounts for 90% of imports for North Korea and sources within the country have reported that for months they have suffered a shortage of basic products such as food or medicine. This situation of isolation has also meant that a high number of diplomats and workers from international organizations and NGOs have left the country, so there are practically no observers outside the regime.
Likewise, experts and human rights defenders are warning about how Pyongyang is taking advantage of this lack of communication with the outside world to further strengthen its control over the population , for example, with the recent approval of a law that toughens punishments for the possession of content. or foreign devices (from music to series, phones or USB).