N. Koreans criticize government calls for “self-reliance”
Many North Koreans are criticizing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s calls for “self-reliance” at a recent Central Committee plenary session and are expressing particular disappointment at failed US-North Korean talks and signs that the government will reassert control over private businesses.
“Last year, many North Koreans thought they had found lifeline when negotiations began with the US,” a Pyongyang-based source told Daily NK on Jan. 6. “After hearing Kim’s remarks at the plenary session, however, people are saying the future looks bleak. They’re worried about how they’ll survive another year.”
Meanwhile, a Ryanggang Province-based source told Daily NK that he had felt US-DPRK relations were in trouble when he started hearing about North Korea’s “new path” before the plenary session.
“I knew for sure that everything had gone up in smoke when I heard about Kim’s promise to engage in a long and difficult struggle [against the US],” he said. “There had been rumors circulating since last year that the hard times would come again, and I realized then that the rumors had not been wrong.” ......