War prep part of N. Korean pupils' studies
PYONGYANG — North Korea's newest batch of future soldiers — scrawny 11-year-olds with freshly shaved heads — punch the air as they practice taekwondo at school.
Students and teachers in the capital say they're studying harder these days to prepare for battle.
Across the country, banners, slogans and artwork have been redrawn to focus on fighting “the imperialist Americans and their traitorous followers” — a reference to South Korea.
Slogans on improving North Korea's economy has dominated since 2009, but anti-American propaganda has re-emerged during the past year after U.S.-led censure of North Korea's decision to launch a long-range rocket and test a nuclear bomb.
At the military school, where students work on desktop computers without Internet access and practice their English with chants such as “The respected Marshal Kim Jong Un is our father,” classwork is infused with conflict.
“Because of the present situation, I am trying to study harder, because I really think that's how I can get my revenge on the American imperialists — by getting top marks in class,” student Jo Chung Hyok told The Associated Press.
“It's my revolutionary duty,” Jo said. “I'm working extra hard to get top marks in military subjects like tactics and shooting.”
“At the moment, the situation on the Korean Peninsula is tense, and America is being bad to us,” said Lt. Col. Kim Hak Bin, an administrator at the military academy. “But you can see that the students here look just as bright as usual, and life and classes are carrying on the same as before.
“Our students are ready to go to the front lines whenever a war breaks out, and they are now studying harder than usual,” he said Thursday.
Students at Mangyondae are made aware of their government's latest invectives against its foes, in addition to usual subjects of study — biology, history and foreign languages.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ‘Super giant’ natural gas field found off Egypt in Mediterranean Sea
- Migrant crisis forces European Union leaders to set summit
- Malaysia Prime Minister Najib scorns thousands demanding his resignation
- Temple in ancient Syrian city of Palmyra bombed by ISIS terrorists
- Egypt, sans parliament for more than 3 years, sets elections
- British Columbia windstorm knocks out electricity
- Fire at Saudi oil company residence kills 11
- Beirut protests grow as summer garbage crisis lingers
- Migrant surge: Europe ill-prepared for invasion of foreigners
- 200 feared dead in latest migrant disaster off Libya’s coast
- Migrants risk all to flee