The official mouthpiece of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party on Tuesday urged its officials to pay closer attention to public sentiment.
The Rodong Sinmun said in a front-page editorial that the ruling party’s officials should respect their subordinates and ordinary people, particularly in times of adversity and hardship.
“(Officials) should always fulfill the ethics of mixing with the people and sharing both joy and sorrow with them. There should never be a specialization of oneself, formality, influence peddling, bureaucracy and a desire for privilege and special favor,” the newspaper argued.
It also urged an all-out fight against “non-socialist and anti-socialist acts,” saying that the bourgeois ideological culture and unusual trends are dangerous toxins that eat into the socialist system from the inside.
The official newspaper’s emphasis on the “management of public sentiment” drew attention amid stalled negotiations with the United States on denuclearization and sanctions relief.
Its argument against privilege, in particular, appears intended to prevent the spread of public discontent over excessive pressure from officials, according to watchers here. They speculate that the Pyongyang regime seems concerned about the fraying of social cohesion, as the pace of sanctions relief has fallen short of public expectations.
In a separate editorial of the same day, the Rodong Sinmun said that it is only the power of the people that the North can rely on amid escalating sanctions and blockades by its enemy forces and difficult economic times.
Specifically, the editorial asked party officials to frequently have conversations with their employees and visit their homes to identify and solve their problems in time. (Yonhap)