North Korea shuts down varsities for 10 months

June 28th, 2011 - 10:16 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 28 (IANS) North Korea has shut down all universities for the next 10 months and sent students to work in factories, agriculture and in the construction sector in a bid to rebuild the economy, a media report said.

The government told the people that the nation will achieve its aim of becoming “a great, prosperous and powerful nation” in 2012, which marks the 100th anniversary of its founder, Kim Il-sung, the Telegraph reported.

North Korea Monday ordered all universities to cancel classes till April next year. The only exemption would be for students who will be graduating in the next few months and foreign students.

The students will be put to work in construction in major cities. They would also be asked to help in repair work in agricultural regions that were affected by a major typhoon recently.

A Japanese analyst said there may be other reasons behind the decision.

“The leadership has seen the ‘Jasmine Revolution’ in Africa and it is very frightened that the same thing could happen in North Korea. They fear it could start in the universities,” said Toshimitsu Shigemura of Tokyo’s Waseda University and author of many books on North Korea.

He said North Korea has bought anti-riot equipment from China in recent months.

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