N Korea wary of copycat uprising: Study

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - 15:05

Seoul: North Korea has taken a
carrot-and-stick approach to forestall the kind of popular uprisings seen in North Africa and the Middle East, according to a South Korean think-tank report.

The rebellions in the Arab world prompted the North to
take "various measures" to prevent public disturbances, said
the report, published Monday by the government-funded Korea
Institute for National Unification.

The state security department instructed regional police
stations on January 20 to step up ideological indoctrination,
it said.

At the same time police were ordered to be lenient over
offences related to people trying to earn a living.

The hardline communist state also suspended a nationwide
security crackdown that was planned after the birthday of
leader Kim Jong-Il on February 16, the report said.

Experts say North Korea tightened its blockade of
outside information following the Arab uprisings, fearing
copycat disturbances against the ruling Kim dynasty.

There have been reports in recent years of sporadic
small-scale protests against chronic food shortages and other
hardships.

But South Korea`s Defence Minister Kim Kwan-Jin said
last month that the communist regime`s tight grip on its
people would prevent any Arab-style uprising.

The Kim family also enjoys support from the North`s 1.2
million-strong military.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - 15:05

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