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N. Korean workers in China do not wear badge of Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il: report

All Headlines 16:57 June 13, 2016

SEOUL, June 13 (Yonhap) -- Some of the North Korean workers in China have been seen not wearing a mandatory badge bearing the images of late North Korean leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, a U.S.-based media report said Monday.

An ethnic Korean source in China told the Radio Free Asia (RFA) that North Korean employees dispatched to the Hongju International Hotel in Hunchun, China's northeastern city in Jilin Province, are working without wearing the so-called loyalty badge these days.

"It appears that there were some instruction from above as all the North Koreans are not sporting the badge," the source claimed.

All North Koreans except children under the age of 13 are required to wear lapel pins bearing the images of their two late leaders at all times. Recent reports have suggested that a new pin bearing the image of the current leader Kim Jong-un has been added.

The source said, however, that it is not yet known why the North Koreans are not wearing their loyalty badges.

But the North Korean who are responsible for the management of the North Korean employees in the hotel have been seen sporting the lapel pin of the late leaders.

Another source said other North Koreans working in China still wear the badges, though they do not wear it when on outing.

The source then said that North Korean laborers as well as those responsible for North Koreans working at sewing factories in Dandong, a border city with North Korea, have opted not to wear the ubiquitous badge on their lapel.

The source speculated that the move may be an attempt to conceal the fact that they are North Koreans.

The badge is a sign of respect and loyalty and is viewed as part of the personality cult being built around the current North Korean leader Kim Jong-un who took the country's power after his father Kim Jong-il's death in 2011.
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