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North Korea

North Korea Shuts Down Universities to Send Students to Work

Kim Jong Il

In this Oct. 10, 2010 file photo, Kim Jong Un, right, along with his father and North Korea leader Kim Jong Il, left, attend a massive military parade marking the 65th anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP)

North Korea has shut down its universities for the next 10 months so students can work in factories to help rebuild the country's depleted economy, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The communist regime ordered all universities Monday to cancel all classes until next April 2012.

The Telegraph reports that North Korean students will be put to work on construction projects in major cities.

One Japanese professor tells the U.K. paper that Pyongyang may be worried about students uprising against the government.

"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," Toshimitsu Shigemura, a professor at Tokyo's Waseda University, told the Telegraph.

Shigemura also said that North Korea recently purchased anti-riot gear from China and that there has been an increased police presence in Pyongyang.