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N. Korea declares war on corruption

All News 15:08 December 10, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 10 (Yonhap) -- North Korea declared war on corruption Monday, with its main newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, calling for an "uncompromising struggle" against anyone involved in acts of corruption "regardless of their rank."

The paper carried an editorial on its front page, denouncing corruption and bureaucratism as an "enemy-benefiting act" and "dangerous toxins" that destroy and erode the country's single-minded unity. It also said the Workers' Party has already declared war on them.

The move was seen as an effort by leader Kim Jong-un to strengthen discipline of bureaucrats and soothe public discontent by cracking down on corruption at a time when the lives of North Koreans haven't improved much despite his declaration to focus on economic development.

"Party organs should ... carry out a stepped-up struggle to uproot bureaucratism and corruption," the paper said. "We should stage an uncompromising struggle against whoever, regardless of their rank, commits acts of disgracing the lofty appearance of the party and toppling our revolutionary stronghold."

The editorial called for stronger oversight of senior party officials, especially those "who boss people around and pursue their own selfish interests."

"Senior officials should also be placed under the organizational control," the article said.

North Korea has often used corruption as a pretext for purging senior officials. The regime has also used punishment of corrupt officials to rally internal support for the leader. Leader Kim's uncle, Jang Song-thaek, was executed in December 2013 on charges of treason and corruption.

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