Kim Watch: Children donate ‘bullets’

North Korean children marching in praise of Kim Jong-un.
North Korean children march in praise of their leader. This year, they are required to collect scrap metal for Kim Jong-un’s missile program (source: dpa)

June 1 is Children’s Day in many countries around the world, including China and North Korea. In both countries, children enjoy the day off from the pressure of daily school life. In North Korea however, they are under a different kind of pressure.

This year, North Korean children have been given a mission: to contribute metal for their “Great Marshal” Kim’s missile program. They have been told that if their country has nuclear warheads and missiles by which to deliver them, no country on the planet will be able to defeat them.

All North Korean children were exhorted to collect scrap metal for constructing missiles. The government’s slogan goes: “One person can donate one bullet, 10 people can donate a shell and 1,000 people can donate a missile easily.” The North Korean people steadfastly believe this to be true. If nothing else, Pyongyang has successfully brainwashed the past three generations.

As opposed to the Chinese and Japanese, who use bamboo or wooden chopsticks, Koreans use metal ones, as well as metal spoons. Even Korean rice bowls are made of metal – usually copper or steel. When children were not able to meet their quota, their schools ordered them to bring in their family’s cutlery, or else face punishment. The most desperate chose to steal metal from nearby factories.

If nothing else, Pyongyang has successfully brainwashed the past three generations of North Koreans.

How bad has it become? North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has even changed his country’s thousand-year-old greeting. Previously, it was: “Did you have a peaceful night?” Now, it is: “How many bullets have you donated today?”

In Kim Watch, GIS Expert Kati Kang shares her insights into the policies of Kim Jong-un. For more, click here.

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