North Korea Announces Amnesty in 70th Anniversary Celebration

Michael Song, July 16, 2018, 6:35 a.m.

North Korea plans to implement a general amnesty next month before celebrating its 70th founding anniversary on Sept. 9, Pyongyang's media said Monday.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that amnesty will be granted to those who were convicted of crimes against the country and people on the occasion of the North's 70th founding anniversary.

The amnesty will take effect on Aug. 1, the report said, noting the cabinet and relevant organs will take practical measures to help the released people settle down to a normal working life.

In this regard, the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly promulgated a decree on July 12, the KCNA said.

According to a full text carried by the Rodong Sinmun on the same day, the decree said it is the intrinsic demand of a Korean-style socialist system and the consistent principle of state activities to protect the independent and creative life of the popular masses and make selfless, devoted efforts for them by thoroughly applying the people-first principle.

The North last carried out a general amnesty in 2015 in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Korean Peninsula's liberation from Japan's colonial rule and the founding of the Workers' Party.

In 2012, North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un granted amnesty to celebrate the centennial of the birth of his grandfather and the North's founder Kim Il-sung and the 70th birthday of his father Kim Jong-il.

The latest amnesty plan appears aimed at consolidating social unity on the occasion of the landmark founding anniversary and boosting the people's loyalty for Kim amid a changing environment after the North-U.S. summit talks in June, analysts say.

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