N. Koreans Ordered to Work Harder for 70 Days

Workers mobilized for 'loyalty campaign'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 25, 2016 2:38 AM CDT
N. Koreans Ordered to Work Harder for 70 Days
Workers use machines to make shoes at a shoe factory in the 70-day campaign in Wonsan, Kangwon province, North Korea.   (Kim Kwang Hyon)

North Koreans are being mobilized en masse to boost production and demonstrate their loyalty to leader Kim Jong Un in a 70-day campaign aimed at wiping out "indolence and slackness." To show their loyalty, workers are putting in extra hours to boost production in everything from coal mining to work in fisheries. Bright red flags and propaganda posters have gone up around the country to emphasize the importance of meeting or exceeding production targets, the AP reports. "Our work has become more difficult than usual," says Nam Myong Hu, who supervises operations of a 5,000-ton refrigerator at the Sinpho Fishery. "There is no distinction between the start and end time of work, and we sleep at the workplace."

The loyalty campaign was called to rally the nation ahead of a major ruling party congress scheduled for May. Kim is expected to use the congress to showcase his achievements and power—and potentially announce a road map for the country's future political and economic strategies. The campaign comes as North Korea is under heavy pressure from the outside world over its recent nuclear test and rocket launches. According to a recent editorial in the ruling party newspaper, the campaign is aimed at "combating indolence and slackness and making a clean sweep of outdated ideological hangovers such as flunkeyism, experientialism, self-protection, and conservatism." (China has called for calm after recent rocket launches.)

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