N.Korea leader rebukes amusement park workers

9 May 2012
It is rare for Kim Jong-Un to inspect entertainment facilities rather than military units, plants or farms
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This file photo, released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 28, shows N.Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) surrounded by officers of Korean People's Army (KPA) during the general tactical exercise of an army unit

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un has scolded staff for neglecting their duties and failing to serve the people during a tour of an amusement park in a Pyongyang suburb, state media said Wednesday.

It is rare for the all-powerful leader to inspect entertainment facilities rather than military units, plants, farms or construction sites.

An analyst said it was also unusual for a leader publicly to find fault during such a tour, adding the move was intended to "spook" government officials and tighten his grip on the elite.

The young leader toured the Mangyongdae Funfair and "scolded" the officials and caretakers of the establishment, Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

He criticised them for having "below-zero spirit of serving the people," it said.

Kim fumed over poorly maintained pavements, with weeds growing in between broken blocks, amusement facilities with scraped-off paint and the faulty arrangement of bases for trees.

"Seeing the weeds grown in between pavement blocks in the compound of the funfair, he, with an irritated look, plucked them up one by one," KCNA said.

He rebuked officials for not noticing such things and accused them of lacking "the attitude befitting master, affection for their worksites and conscience to serve the people", it said.

"This is not just a business issue but an issue concerning ideological viewpoint," it quoted the leader as saying in a "serious" tone.

"Officials should draw a serious lesson from the tour of Mangyongdae Funfair," he said.

Kim said the occasion should serve as a serious warning to the officials so that they have a proper spirit of serving the people, KCNA said.

Chang Yong-Seok at Seoul National University's Institute for Peace and Unification said it was extremely rare for official media to report that a leader berated officials during such a trip.

"All party and government officials will be spooked by this report. This is aimed at strengthening Kim's grip on the elite," Chang told AFP.

"He is also sending a message to the ordinary people that he is taking good care of them as a benevolent leader."