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*** TOPIC OF THE WEEK (Part 2)

North Korean Social Organizations Hold 'Loyalty' Rallies This Year

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea's so-called social organizations, including military and youth organizations, have held a series of national meetings this year following the inauguration of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un who succeeded his father Kim Jong-il after the senior Kim's sudden death in December of last year.

   A meeting of chairpersons of primary organizations of the youth league of the companies of the (North) Korean People's Army (KPA) was held on Oct. 31 for the first time in 10 years, which North Korea watchers in Seoul say is aimed at boosting loyalty to Kim Jong-un among young North Korean military leaders.

   The (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the meeting reviewed achievements and experiences made in the youth league affairs of the army "in hearty response to the historic letter Generalissimo Kim Jong-il sent to the participants in the meeting of the exemplary secretaries of the youth league primary organizations in the KPA companies." Kim Jong-il sent the letter on Oct. 30, 2002.

   Participants also discussed ways to carry out the tasks set by Kim Jong-un in the congratulatory message to the participants in the meeting for celebrating Youth Day and other youth across the country this year.

   Speakers at the meeting recalled that North Korean founding leader Kim Il-sung started his revolutionary activities with the youth movement, laid deep and strong roots of the Korean youth movement and developed the youth league into invincible youth ranks taking the lead in the struggle for accomplishing the cause of the party, according to the KCNA.

   "(Speakers) stressed the need for the passionate youth of the KPA to creditably fulfill the honorable duty they assumed before the era, revolution, country and its people, holding aloft the red flag of the Workers' party of Korea as the No. l colors."

   Earlier on Oct. 25, the KCNA said participants in the meeting who arrived in Pyongyang on Oct. 24 and 25 were "full of gratitude to KPA Supreme Commander Kim Jong-un, who saw to it that Youth Day in the first year of the new century of the juche era was glorified as a grand political festival to shine long in the country's history and the meeting was organized." Juche is the North's guiding principle of self-reliance.

   The Youth League is the most powerful political organization and second only to the Workers' Party of (North) Korea (WPK) in terms of its size and influence. There is a chairperson of primary organization of the youth league in each KPA company, who is directed by the KPA committee of the Youth League.

   North Korea elevated Kim Jong-un as paramount leader of both the party and military in April and has since held meetings of executive members of social organizations in Pyongyang to have them to swear loyalty to Kim.

   North Korea held a massive rally in Pyongyang on Aug. 27 to celebrate Youth Day, which was televised live by the North's state-run Korean Central TV Broadcasting Station.

   Kim Jong-un sent a congratulatory message that was read out during the celebration. In attendance were North Korean dignitaries including Premier Choe Yong-rim, Choe Ryong-hae, the chief of the General Political Bureau of the KPA, and other senior officials of the party, the state and the army.

   "The celebrations of Youth Day this year are a grand political event that demonstrates the loyalty and stamina of the Korean youth dynamically advancing toward the final victory following the WPK while glorifying the proud history and tradition of the Korean youth movement that has emerged ever-victorious thanks to the WPK's idea of attaching importance," Kim wrote in his message.

   About 10,000 youth representatives from across North Korea gathered in Pyongyang at the end of August to participate in the event.

   Similar rallies were held in July for representatives of vocational leagues, farmers' organization and female leagues who vowed their loyalty to the young North Korean leader. A massive rally attended by some 20,000 scouts was held in Pyongyang in June and Kim Jong-un delivered a speech in person and had photo sessions with participating youths.

   North Korea watchers said the successive meetings of junior executives of social organizations were aimed at strengthening the control of North Korean residents through the national networks of the social and political organizations.