Pro-NK residents in Japan strengthen personality cult of Kim Jong-un
TOKYO (Yonhap) -- Pro-North Korea residents in Japan are stepping up their propaganda campaign to strengthen the personality cult surrounding North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, activists said Monday.
The pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, also known as "Chongryon," has held three-day courses in Osaka since May 28 to indoctrinate the organization's key officials in the leadership qualities of Kim Jong-un, according to the Osaka-based civic group, Rescue The North Korean People! Urgent Action Network.
Members of Chongryon sympathize with the North Korean regime and are often descendants of Korean laborers who were forcibly brought to Japan during Tokyo's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
Participants in the courses included the heads of Chongryon's branch committees in east and west Japan and the principal of a school run by the pro-North residents, an official of the civic group said on condition of anonymity.
The courses, which are scheduled to run through Thursday, are based on a 25-page A4 booklet filled with expressions of awe and respect for the young leader, who is believed to be in his late 20s.
The booklet claims Kim Jong-un, as a teenager, studied the theoretical and practical aspects of the North's guiding "juche" philosophy of self-reliance and offered new perspectives.
It also calls on members of Chongryon to strictly follow the words and instructions of the North Korean leader and his late father Kim Jong-il, who died last December after ruling the country for 17 years.
A source familiar with Chongryon said the campaign may also be an attempt to consolidate power around the organization's new leader, who took office last month amid ongoing allegations of corruption.