Mildly amusing

Was reading reports about daily life in North Korea from the usual website when I stumbled upon this gem:

Recently, Kim Jong Un introduced the use of ‘Mallima Speed’ to encourage his workers to work faster in preparation of the 70th Party Congress. The term ‘Mallima’ comes from the idea of going at a high speed (approximately 3900km) in one day, so…the citizens are supposed to be ideologically inspired by this slogan to work harder than ever.

These citizens are pretty…well, poorly fed by the state apparatus and have to rely on the fledgling black market to survive. Having been worked to the bone and all, this slogan understandably incites more disloyalty and disdain towards the regime, aptly expressed in the bolded quote:


  1. As you mentioned, we know that North Korea’s resources and raw materials are lacking. In these circumstances, isn’t emphasizing a ‘speed battle’ going to result in overwork across all industries?

Yes. Of course there is already an excessive amount of overwork in North Korea’s industries. Quality cannot be guaranteed, and because this emphasis on speed will result in a decrease in quality and sustainability, the likelihood of industrial accidents increases. Particularly in the case of construction, a focus on speed alone can result in substandard construction and increase the risk of accidents and catastrophic failure.

  1. If that is true, how are the citizens responding to this ‘Mallima speed’ campaign?

The people know that there is not really a difference between Chollima and Mallima. People are saying things like, ‘Chollima, Mallima, it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other,’ and ‘It’s a means to a living.’ People are saying it’s just an empty slogan broadcast by the Worker’s Party. Some people are upset by it, saying things like, ‘We don’t even have enough to eat, what the [expletive] is this Mallima?’

A pretty candid reaction, albeit one that’s sadly expressed by them. No doubt the 13 that recently fled kept the horrible conditions of their country in mind as they risked their lives  in defection (and that of their family/relatives, one might add).



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