North Korea: Kim Jong-un 'bans drinking and singing parties' as UN sanctions begin to bite

Pyongyang 'trying to forestall dissent' among citizens, South Korean spy agency claims

Jon Sharman
Tuesday 21 November 2017 10:13
Comments
Chinese ambassador Liu Xiaoming 'cautiously optimistic' about North Korea

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has banned drinking and singing parties as economic sanctions begin to bite, South Korean spies have claimed.

The South’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) told parliament Pyongyang was trying to prevent dissent among its citizens as UN sanctions – imposed after repeated missile and nuclear weapons tests – begin to affect its economy.

According to Yonhap, the NIS told MPs: “[The North] has devised a system whereby party organs report people’s economic hardships on a daily basis, and it has banned any gatherings related to drinking, singing and other entertainment and is strengthening control of outside information.”

The report comes as China’s ambassador to the UK called sanctions “a means, not a purpose”, adding that more rounds should not be imposed for their own sake.

China has consistently voted to support UN sanctions since 2006, and 16 such restrictions have been imposed in that time, Liu Xiaoming told Robert Peston on Sunday.

US President Donald Trump named China and Russia specifically during his recent tour of the Asia-Pacific region as countries that should sever trade ties with North Korea “entirely”.

He has previously criticised China for failing to do enough to persuade its communist neighbour to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

South Korea’s NIS said that while there had been no sign of preparations for a new nuclear test in the North, “we forecast that depending upon North Korean leader Kim’s determination, a nuclear test is possible any time”.

Pyongyang has also punished senior officials in its military’s General Political Bureau, according to Yonhap, but what this entailed the NIS could not reportedly say.

The bureau manages personnel for a number of other key military bodies.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in