Kim Jong Un meets young 'volunteers', says they are admirable heroes

Published on Aug 31, 2021 11:03 AM IST

Kim Jong Un called them admirable heroes and praised the young people, who had been "lagging behind others", and said he fully supports them.

Kim Jong Un waves as he attends a photo session with participants during Youth Day celebrations. (Reuters Photo)
Kim Jong Un waves as he attends a photo session with participants during Youth Day celebrations. (Reuters Photo)
By | Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi

Kim Jong Un of North Korea met young people, who "volunteered to work at difficult and challenging sectors of socialist construction", and blessed them with a bright future, according to a report by the country's state media on Tuesday. Kim called them admirable heroes and praised the young people, who had been "lagging behind others", and said he fully supports them, KCNA said without elaborating the roles they played. "It is the best pride, asset and motive power for the development for a Party making revolution to have its reliable successors, reserves and promising main force," Kim Jong Un said according to the KCNA, referring to the ruling Workers' Party.

"He expressed expectation and belief that all the young people who volunteered to the pilot sectors of socialist construction would glorify their precious youth with heroic feats for the Party and the country and keep to the path of patriotism to the last, true to the pledges they made at the new starting line of their lives," Kim Jong Un added.

Also read | North Korea develops own PCR equipment for Covid-19 tests, says report

The state media said in May that orphans, conscripted soldiers, and students in North Korea are volunteering to perform manual labour in North Korea, including in coal mines, farms, and large construction projects. According to the reports by KCNA, hundreds of graduates of orphan schools “volunteered to work in difficult fields”. It said they had graduated from middle schools, without specifying the orphans’ ages. It also reported that more than 700 orphans had volunteered to work on cooperative farms, an iron and steel complex, and in forestry, among other areas. The agency reported that around 150 graduates from three orphan schools had volunteered to work at coal mines and farms.

Also read | 'Will make them realize': North Korea warns US, South Korea over 'hostile acts'

“(The graduates of orphan schools) volunteered to work in major worksites for socialist construction out of their will to glorify their youth in the struggle for the prosperity of the country. They finished their school courses under the warm care of the mother Party,” KCNA said in May.

The United Nations has said that the drastic measures taken by North Korea to contain Covid-19 have exacerbated human rights and economic hardship for its citizens, including reports of starvation. North Korea has repeatedly rejected accusations of human rights abuses and blames sanctions for a dire humanitarian situation. The country has been under UN sanctions since 2006 over its ballistic missile and nuclear programs.

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