North Korea looks to the future ahead of once-in-a-generation party congress as the South fears terror attacks

Slogans issued by the Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, reflect what the party sees as the nation’s priorities in the months and years that lie ahead

Eric Talmadge
Pyongyang
Thursday 18 February 2016 22:20
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News of North Korea’s bomb test shown in Tokyo
News of North Korea’s bomb test shown in Tokyo

The exhortations are direct, if not always clear, and exclamation marks abound. “Send more satellites into space!” “Produce more new-generation electric locomotives and passenger cars!” and “Make the whole country seethe with a high-pitched campaign for producing greenhouse vegetables!”

These are just a selection of the new slogans released by North Korea's ruling party to guide and inspire the nation ahead of a once-in-a-generation party congress scheduled for May. Coming at a time when the regime is being threatened with new sanctions and further isolation for conducting a recent nuclear test and rocket launch, the slogans, issued by the Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, reflect what the party sees as the nation’s priorities in the months and years that lie ahead.

The topics range from boosting the economy to becoming an international sports power and, of course, building more edifices in honour of the nation’s leaders and toeing the party line.

The nuclear bomb test the North claimed it conducted last month was mentioned once, but it was a mouthful: “Let’s dynamically wage this year’s general advance in the same spirit as shown in succeeding in the H-bomb test!” South Korea is one of a number of nations, including the US, that has called for more stringent sanctions on the North in the wake of that test and the rocket launch earlier this month – and officials have talked up the threat from across the border.

In televised remarks, senior South Korean presidential official Kim Sung-woo said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently ordered preparations for launching “terror” attacks on South Koreans. He added that the North’s spy agency has begun work to implement Kim Jong-un’s order to “muster anti-South terror capabilities that can pose a direct threat to our lives and security.”

Mr Kim also called for the quick passage of an anti-terror bill through parliament. The security bill proposes to establish a new anti-espionage unit that would report to the spy agency chief and will co-ordinate surveillance, analysis and investigation into leads that point to a possible attack.

The proposed law would also empower South Korea’s intelligence agency authority to monitor private communications. The bill has met with resistance from the country’s liberal opposition parties, which, say the spy agency, is not politically impartial.

AP

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