North Korea’s University Shutdown

What’s Kim Jong-Il’s solution to the economic crisis? Shut down the schools and put those lazy students to work.

The reports, coming from South Korea, indicate that on Monday, the North Korean government issued an order that all universities cancel classes until April of next year, exceptions only applying to foreign students and those with imminent graduation dates. What will the ousted pupils be doing? Working on construction projects in major cities and doing repair work in agricultural regions, affected by a recent typhoon.

But, a Telegraph article reports, economic recovery may not be the primary reason for the university shutdown.Instead, it may be fear of a domino effect — inspired by the Arab Spring, the Jasmine Revolution, and recent demonstrations of support in China — that is inspiring Jong-Il to attack what he likely perceives as the birthplace of dissent: academia.

Corroborating this suspicion is the report that North Korea has purchased anti-riot equipment from China recently, paired with an increase in police presence among university towns across the nation. All this comes on the heels of the Dear Leader’s announcement that North Korea is finally on the verge of becoming “a great, prosperous and powerful nation.”

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Filed under Arab Spring, Asia, Human Rights

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