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N. Korea strengthens pro-regime propaganda after Gadhafi's death
SEOUL, Oct. 31 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is stepping up propaganda aimed at young citizens in an effort to preempt a revolt similar to the one that recently killed Libya's longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi, sources familiar with the regime said Monday.

   The autocratic leader was killed by revolutionary fighters in his hometown of Sirte on Oct. 20, but North Korea's official media have so far been silent on his death, apparently fearing a similar threat to the Pyongyang regime.

  
North Korea's embassy in Libya. (Yonhap file photo)


Instead, the North's state newspaper Rodong Sinmun on Thursday carried a commentary urging young people to further uplift the nation's "superior" way of life. It also stressed the need to continue so-called educational projects to defend against the "decadent ideas and unusual lifestyles of imperialists."

   "North Korea's current emphasis on blocking 'unusual ideas and cultures' is an indirect response to Gadhafi's death," said one source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "It can be interpreted as a form of vigilance against the ideological relaxation of youth, who are sensitive to outside trends."

   In a similar move, the communist regime is strengthening its control over hundreds of North Koreans working in Libya and other nations affected by the Arab Spring revolutions, another source said.

   Since April, Pyongyang has reportedly ordered its people in the region not to return home out of fear they will spread news of the popular democratic uprisings. Until now, the ban applied mainly to North Korean doctors, nurses and construction workers who were working in African and Middle Eastern nations to earn hard currency for their impoverished country.

   "I heard that the North Korean regime has blocked the return of its officials and their families, who have been working abroad longterm for as long as five years," said a separate source, also speaking on condition of anonymity. "I believe some high-ranking officials are also among them."

   hague@yna.co.kr
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