Kim Jong Un blasts ‘defects’ at North Korea party cell meeting

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April 7 (UPI) — Kim Jong Un chastised his subordinates in the Korean Workers’ Party for not addressing “defects” in policies during a conference of party cell secretaries.

Pyongyang’s state-controlled news agency KCNA reported Wednesday that Kim reportedly said in his opening remarks there were “not only a few defects” in the party and its activities.

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“Even if the defects are limited or small, they should never be neglected,” the North Korean leader said.

Kim’s criticism of party members was followed by remarks from Jo Yong Won, a top official. Jo scolded party cell secretaries for not stepping up resistance against “non-socialist” and “anti-socialist” influences, likely a reference to flows of information from the outside world.

Jo “strongly criticized party cell secretaries who without party principles or revolutionary principles could not launch a struggle against anti-socialism and non-socialism,” KCNA said.

North Korea began to crack down on “cultural and ideological infiltration” in December, when the regime adopted a new “Reactionary Ideological Culture Rejection Law” that could further punish officers for allowing outside information to flow into the country.

Defectors in South Korea have said the viewing of outside media is illegal. The viewing of South Korean media comes with stiffer penalties than Chinese media, refugees have said.

On Tuesday, at the party cell meeting, Jo also blamed party members in the lower ranks for their “insufficient” response to “anti-socialism” and “non-socialism.”

Party cell secretaries that carry out policy on the grass roots and local levels were previously spotlighted during North Korea’s Eighth Party Congress in January, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

The meeting Tuesday focused on domestic policy, but North Korea could be preparing a submarine-launched ballistic missile test that could raise tensions with neighbors and the United States.

Writing for the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Beyond Parallel initiative on Korean issues, analysts Joseph Bermudez, Victor Cha and Jennifer Jun said Tuesday that North Korea has moved its submersible missile test stand barge. That could indicate an upcoming test, but it also could mean repairs.

No missile canister was visible onboard the submersible missile test barge, analysts said.