North Koreans roll their eyes at May Day conferences on the superiority of socialism — Radio Free Asia

Workers in North Korea have ridiculed their government’s May Day propaganda that touted the superiority of socialism at a time when most people are struggling to put enough food on the table, sources in the country told FRG.

May Day, or International Workers’ Day, is an annual celebration of the struggle for labor rights and an important holiday in communist countries. The North Korean government held special conferences for factory workers before the holidays, where they pointed out the evils of capitalism to show why North Korean socialism is better.

At one such conference at the Chongjin Steel Plant in the northeastern province of North Hamgyong, workers did not accept the party official’s argument.

“They gathered workers in conference rooms, pointing out the problems of capitalism for an entire hour, then rambled on and on about socialism and its superiority,” a source working at the factory told RFA’s Korea Service. on condition of anonymity for security reasons. the reasons.

“Workers scoffed at the message, saying nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.

They even openly protested while the speaker was speaking.

“When he said that all workers under the socialist system lived happily and received many benefits from their government, the workers shouted, ‘How can he tell such a lie with a straight face, knowing all the difficulties we are in? facing right now?” said the worker.

“This kind of propaganda that reinforces the superiority of socialism offends the working people, and we can’t keep quiet any longer,” he said.

In the northern province of Ryanggang, the subject of the conference was how the independence of workers has been trampled on in capitalist countries and they are not treated as people, a senior official told RFA on condition of anonymity. factory worker to express himself freely.

“Most workers are well aware that the conference was unrealistic,” he said.

“Nowadays, we all know how rich the capitalist countries are, and we know the rights workers have to foreign and South Korean movies and TV shows, and overseas radio shows “said the second source.

So the workers completely ignored the conference.

“The reality is that no matter how much the speaker insists that working people are exploited, coerced, subjugated and repressed under the capitalist system, his words go unheard,” the second source said.

“In the past, at these kinds of conferences, there were many who agreed, but these days we just don’t respond to those empty words that say this is the ideal society in which our rights independents are guaranteed and we are all equal in the socialist system.

“Most of the workers feel they are in a bind in terms of livelihood, and they express their displeasure by accepting just for appearances.”

Translated by Claire Lee and Leejin J. Chung. Written in English by Eugene Whong.