Thought Your College Experience Was Bad?

Kim Il Sung

The government of North Korea appears to have ordered all college students to leave universities for 10 months in order to work on construction projects.

According to an article by Yojana Sharma in University World News:

Diplomats in Pyongyang confirmed that students were being drafted into manual labour on the outskirts of the city until April next year to prepare for major celebrations to commemorate the centenary of the late leader Kim Il Sung’s [right] birthday. But they said this did not mean the closure of universities.

Reports originating in South Korea and Japan suggested that the Pyongyang government had ordered universities to cancel classes until April next year, exempting only students graduating in the next few months and foreign students.

The reports indicate that students will be working on construction projects in major cities. A few years ago North Korea set 2012 as its year “for becoming a great and prosperous nation” but the country still has numerous uncompleted construction projects.

Perhaps the state is rounding up students complete the buildings.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer