The paper is a rare indication from inside North Korea that the country's impoverished masses may be losing faith in the systemor at least getting bored with it. Kim himself is reputed to have a vast collection of foreign movies, some of them blue. Everyone else has to make do with a single state-run TV channel that serves up a starchy diet of Kim coverage, propaganda songs and chaste films with revolutionary themes. But errant desires are hard to control: the document states that customs authorities seized twice as much porn and other contraband in 2002 as they did in 2001. Toxic foreign influences typically enter the country via its porous border with China, across which Chinese and North Korean traders smuggle videotapes and music cassettes. While food remains in desperately short supply, surplus porn has sent prices tumbling. In 1995, according to a Chinese broker who works the border, a skin flick sold for $100. "Now you don't earn money selling porn because it's so common. When you sell South Korean dramas, you give out a few porn videos for free."
Those South Korean TV dramas are now hugely popular in the North. Before she fled North Korea to China in early March, Park Sun Hee (not her real name) had seen all the latest South Korean soaps. She says she once rigged a line to a factory to steal electricity and watched the hit soap Juliet's Man until dawn. "I was very happy," she says. "It was a very revolutionary thing for me to stay up all night watching movies." That's exactly what scares the Party. The document warns that if nothing is done, "Socialism is going to crumble like a mud wall soaked in water." So it instructs cadres to deliver a "severe blow" to illicit viewers and "quickly turn in all the impure materials you have to the related authorities." That way, they can watch them too.