Pyongyang: North Korea has reportedly closed access to Pyongyang, along with the Workers’ Party of Korea’s 8th Central Committee, which will hold its fourth general meeting on Monday.
The move seems to be aimed at increasing tensions before the party’s general meeting and preventing news from leaking to the outside world.
Authorities issued an order banning people from entering and exiting political parties and government agencies (including Pyongyang) in all regions from December 25 to January 2, according to North Korean Daily NK sources on Monday.
By order, Pyongyang residents cannot leave the city, and rural residents cannot go to Pyongyang, even for business or medical purposes.
In fact, authorities are reportedly tightening control over all floats and personnel entering Pyongyang, increasing mobile patrols on the outskirts of the city, and keeping cars and people away based on their destination.
North Korea has long controlled access to Pyongyang during important state events such as major state holidays and party conventions, and has declared a special security period.
In particular, authorities have tightened restrictions on invasion of Pyongyang since the launch of the COVID-19 pandemic in January last year.
Recently, authorities have gradually allowed the transportation of goods to the capital. This clearly reflects the fear that stopping locals from making a living can exacerbate their dissatisfaction. It also seems to reflect the government’s confidence that they have contained COVID-19 so far.
However, the latest measures have prevented people from earning a living again, at least for some time. As a result, public dissatisfaction may be rising again.
In towns near Pyongyang, such as Pyongsung City, South Pyongan Province and Sariwon City, North Hwanghae Province, many merchants are suffering because they cannot enter the capital.
He said the general public was not interested in party plenary sessions or political bureau meetings, as major events lead to stronger oppression of the people.
Meanwhile, North Korea convened the 4th General Assembly of the 8th Central Committee on Monday, attended by North Korean Prime Minister Kim Jong Un. The meeting will clearly review the successes and failures of the first year of the country’s latest five-year plan and discuss next year’s tasks.