MAY 6th, 2011 “Those hailing from North Korea's core class," said an internal North Korean source on May 3rd, "are openly expressing discontent with the ruling system. There's a growing tendency for people to have an interest in business and money making ventures."
The source said people's attitudes took on this form most obviously immediately after the Currency Reform of 2009. Prior to this, the elite class's whisperings against the system had been comparatively muted. But since then, they have been consistently scornful of the regime and mistrustful particularly in regard to officials' claims that North Korea will be a "strong and prosperous nation" come 2012.
The Korean for "strong and prosperous nation" is Gang-song-dae-guk. Another possible derivable homonymic meaning of the phrase could refer to the Gang-song-dae pavilion in Pyongyang. One Pyongyang resident, making a vernacular joke about the "strong and prosperous nation" campaign, summed up his incredulousness by making a pun on the idea. "I don't know what kind of gang-song-dae-guk they can be talking about," he said. "Are they talking about some kind of soup that can only be eaten in the gang-song-dae pavilion?" Guk is a Korean word for soup.
A younger member of North Korea's functionary class currently working for a military department trading company was skeptical of the 2012 strong and prosperous nation propaganda, "The moment I get to live in this tile roofed house and taste this meat soup we've all been promised I'll reevaluate my thoughts."
"We're gradually seeing attitudes change and people attach more importance to money than ideology and the system," said the source. People who've experienced the iniquities and inefficiencies of the regime no longer believe it and have more interest in making a living by themselves.
"They're saying 'only money is something you can rely on' and stating that in today's society only the dollar has credibility," added the source, saying people worry frantically about how they'll make money without leaving the military and that if they just had some seed money they could grow a business. "It's difficult to see people making efforts to draw attention to themselves through distinguished service in the military or special forces or to enter the Workers' Party as they once did."
"This is a very significant change in North Korea society," the source declared. "The elite as well as ordinary people are coming to the opinion that, "Well, if this were a true socialist society then everyone would be able to eat good food and they'd at least let us run a business."
"This generation will one day occupy the positions of elite influence," the source finished. "It is these individuals who hold the key to how North Korea will change." But the source added that they are as yet not in a position to risk their lives and oppose the Kim family regime.
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