June 7 (UPI) — Kim Jong Un told young North Koreans at a convention of the regime’s youth league they must be willing to “give all” to their country – a sign the North Korean leader is turning his attention to cultivating a loyal demographic among children between the ages of 7 and 14.
Pyongyang’s state-controlled news agency KCNA reported Wednesday Kim attended the eighth meeting of the group also known as the Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist Youth League, founded in 1946 by Kim Il Sung, the current leader’s biological grandfather.
“The youth league is a mass political organization that is preparing the successors of the Workers’ Party and the youth alliance,” Kim said Wednesday. “The primary mission of the organization is to prepare the true sons and daughters of our socialist fatherland to become revolutionary youths.”
Kim added members of the organization must “know the great value of the fatherland and the leadership, and must know how to give all for the country and revolution.”
“Wherever, whenever, they must think and live according to the wishes of the party,” Kim said.
Kim has been careful to cultivate close ties to some of North Korea’s youngest people because they are expected to become the “core generation” supporting the regime, as the leader grows into his role in the next several decades, a South Korean analyst has said.
North Korea has been stepping up measures to encourage idolization of the leadership, but more North Koreans may be less trustful of authority.
Daily NK reported this week a North Korean state security agent was stabbed in North Hamgyong Province while on duty.
The agent survived, but North Koreans say people are increasingly irritated with corruption among officers.