Kim Jong-un struggles to enforce rules as North Korea orders nationwide ...

KIM JONG-UN has ordered a literacy crackdown in North Korea, forcing those who failed to learn to read and write during a devastating famine more than 20 years ago to get back in the classroom.

PUBLISHED: 13:53, Fri, Nov 27, 2020 | UPDATED: 13:53, Fri, Nov 27, 2020

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The famine, known in North Korea as the “Arduous March”, killed millions between 1994 and 1998 with some putting the death toll as high as 10 percent of the population. Tens of thousands of children who were unable to go to school at the height of the crisis have grown up having never learned to read and write.

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North Korean insider

According to sources within the hermit state, illiterate people are now being targeted by the government but are refusing to engage with lessons, prompting warnings and threats from Pyongyang.

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One official in North Hamgyong province told Radio Free Asia: “On the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party’s instructions, a survey project began nationwide in November to identify residents who do not know the Korean alphabet.

“They are conducting the survey in all agencies, companies, co-operative farms and special units, even in the armed forces.”

Kim Jong-unNorth Korean leader Kim Jong-un (Image: GETTY)

The United Nations said North Korea now had a primary and secondary education rate of near 90 percent and near 100 percent of the population is literate.

But the education system came close to collapse during the Arduous March because people were struggling to survive.

The source said: “Many North Koreans entered society without attending school because they were doing other things while they were trying to stay alive during the Arduous March.


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