North Korea renames organization to crack down on “non-socialist behavior”

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The North Korean authorities recently renamed the “Unified Command on Non-Socialist and Anti-Socialist Behavior” to “Unified Command 82” in accordance with a decision of the Third Plenary Meeting of the Eighth Central Committee, held in June.

According to a Central Committee directive recently obtained by the Daily NK, the authorities said the future activities of the command should be based on the fundamental objective of “establishing a unified command system in the fight against non-socialist and anti-socialist behavior” .

The reason for the name change remains unclear. However, given that the organization focuses on spying on people to see if they enjoy or smuggle South Korean cultural artifacts or use Chinese-made cellphones, the measure appears to be aimed at covering up what the organization actually does.

In fact, authorities only communicated the organization’s name change to relevant government agencies. Ordinary residents have remained uninformed, the source said. When the Daily NK attempted to verify the information, it found that even Rodong Sinmun had not printed the organization’s new name.

It is also possible that the authorities changed the name to “elevate” the comments of the supreme leader of the nation, a common practice in North Korea.

Central Committee order mentioning the name change / Image: Daily NK

For example, the best-known North Korean organization in its war on South Korean pop culture, Group 109, takes its name from the date – October 9 – when the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il called to “the eradication of foreign-style capitalist ideology.” . “Group 114, the most notable organization formed under current North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, takes its name from January 14, when Kim called for a crackdown on illegal publications and recorded material. .

There is speculation that the new name is linked to preparations to transform the Unified Command from a temporary “campaign” to a permanent organization.

The source said the authorities have tightened regulations on the branches of the Unified Command 82 at all levels, requiring them to report to the Central Committee on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. “It gives the impression that they intend to keep the organization running until the anti-regime behavior is completely rooted out,” he said.

The authorities have also strengthened the functions and role of the Unified Command 82. Likewise, they called on the organization to wage an intense “war of annihilation” through links and joint actions with regional organizations.

In particular, the authorities ordered the group to crack down on “violent criminals who seriously endanger people’s personal safety”, drugs, superstition and “unclean illegal publications”. This suggests that authorities are calling for a “blitz” aimed at creating an atmosphere that would prevent similar crimes from happening.

Authorities have also stressed that they will severely punish acts that introduce chaos into the system, including skipping reports and ignoring the command structure. Basically, this reveals that the authorities wish to prevent potential acts of corruption by emphasizing the sense of responsibility of officials.

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