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North Korea fears Egypt scenario

Pyongyang limits coverage of events even for top officials

North Korea fears Egypt scenario
Egyptian police supress people's demonstration for democracy (Photo courtesy of Gwangju Humanrights Peace Foundation)

February 21, 2011

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North Korea is trying to hide news of the democratization movement in Egypt that called to an end of the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak. According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), the North Korean authorities informed only high ranking officials of part of the news of Egypt in the official weekly bulletin. RFA quoted a North Korea source in China as saying: "The weekly bulletin for high officials in North Korea informed of the Egyptian drive for democracy and pointed out that the failure of economy policy and corruption of Egyptian officials caused the people's uprising." Also, the North Korean bulletin said Mubarak had held power for 30 years through U.S.-friendly foreign policy in the Middle East and the U.S. betrayed him as he faced resignation. The bulletin deals with world news for high officials and they are supposed to return it after reading, so ordinary people cannot read it. Other state-run media in North Korea did not carry the news on Egypt. Father John Baptist Kim Hun-il, executive secretary of the Korean bishops' subcommittee for aid to North Korea, said: "According to the social structure of North Korea, if the government does not inform the situation of Egypt, ordinary North Koreans will not know it." "Now, some people in the markets and near the border with China can get the information, but the uprisings in the Middle East will not happen in North Korea. It's because the North Korean government always keeps a close watch on its people," he added. Meanwhile, Foreign Policy, a U.S.-based magazine, has chosen Kim Jong-il, leader of North Korea, as the first dictator who will fall among the top five dictators. The magazine pointed out that Kim Il-sung and his son Kim Jong-il have ruled North Korea for 63 years, but “Kim's family's leadership has not been kind to the people of North Korea, creating the world's most fearsome state, where surveillance and famine are equally prevalent." "Now ailing, Kim Jong Il is reported to have plans to install his son, Kim Jong Un, as the country's leader, likely prolonging the misery of the long-suffering North Korean people," it added. KO13357.1642
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