Orphanages and Other Child Care Facilities Desperately Need Help
A large four-story building in
One mid-level official in
The Party Officials Saying, “Starvation Is Coming Soon”
The food crisis seems endless. One official from the Party said, “The severity of food shortages differs among regions, but in this situation where we can’t see the end of the crisis, it does not matter which city is better or worse.” Hamheung, Sinuiju and other regions that had experienced the most serious starvation during the Arduous March (고난의 행군) seem to cope better with starvation than other regions. At the time of the Arduous March, there were many people who starved to death eating potatoes. But, because people got used to being starving, they will not starve to death like in those times. But, the food situation is as bad as in those times. It is worrying that this time houses do not even have potatoes. One Party official said, “Starvation is sure to come soon even though it depends on regions.” Another official said that the Party does not have any measures to take care of locals and only care about the central areas. In major cities, food has been distributed to universities, customs, import and export business, police, and intelligence agencies. However, the others do not even hear about food distribution these days. Therefore, high officials in the Party are noting that unless there is food aid from abroad, starvation is sure to come within days.
One official in
Increasing Missing People Causing Tension in the Party
Through South Pyongan, South Hwanghae,
Most of all, the tension is remarkable in the national border area. As of the end of April, investigation has been targeting people, who do not go back home after visiting or staying in their relatives in the area. Once they are identified they are pressed to go back to their homes. The police in each region are persuading those non-residents to go back home as soon as possible. Some police officers are even insisting that they leave their districts as quickly as possible by going back home or even leaving for
Farm Labor Mobilization Started on April 23rd
An order to mobilize general farm labor groups was issued for this spring's farming. Students of every city and county, under the leadership of Monaegi direction groups (모내기지휘 그루빠) of the provincial People's Assembly, have been mobilized for farm support. The current farm labor mobilization was originally scheduled from April 23 to May 23. Students ranging from 4-6 grades of middle school to vocation school and colleges are taking a letter of certification of "suspension of food rations" and going to nearby collective farms to provide labor. Workers and members of Women's
Control over Market Activities Become Hazy Due to Worsening Food Shortages
In the wake of the March 4th collective protest against the age restrictions on market activities, authorities issued a statement, considered by many people an empty threat, that there will be no negotiation or pardon regarding any anti-social activities in the future. Yet, the control over market activities in fact has become hazy these days. Authorities, who tightened its monitoring of market activities as if they were going to remove all the markets across the country, currently appear to fall back due to the worsening food shortages. Food rations had stopped a while ago and households are even running out of emergency food. Under such circumstances, markets are the only way for ordinary people to sustain their lives. Authorities seem to apprehend that if they continue to ban market activities, the nation might face the risk of mass starvation; for this reason, authorities could not impose their original plan to tighten the control over market activities.
Tuberculosis Patients Left Untreated
The hospitalized patients of the department of surgery in each hospital are generally tuberculosis patients. Every day the patients go to hospital, but they are actually left untreated because the medical service center does not have any medication. Even though there are sanitariums for tuberculosis, the patients and their families avoid the facilities because they believe that if patients go to the sanitariums, they will die there. It is true that there are many people who have died in the nursing homes.
Lim Sang-hak (49), a tuberculosis specialist at
Because of the Shortage of Food, Curing Tuberculosis is More Difficult
Lee Cheol-ho (43), a doctor of South Hamgyung Province, stated, “Taking medication as well as nutritious food is a fundamental step to cure tuberculosis, so having food is very important; it is not possible to eradicate this disease because we do not have food or cannot run an isolation ward. A while ago, a woman of my Neighborhood Unit was sick with tuberculosis for a year and she coughed up blood and passed away a week ago. We diagnosed her disease as tuberculosis, but she could not take any medicine or have even food. We were sorry and uneasy that she was all skin and bones. Because she was a friend of my wife, I gave her medicine. Although regularly taking medication is important, having food is more important, but it is impossible in this situation. I felt really bad for her death.” He continued that he did not know the exact number of increasing tuberculosis patients, but he was sure that the number was definitely increasing because of the shortage of food.
He continued his statement, “The number of registered patients in tuberculosis hospitals of each province is much larger than the Health Department officially counted the number. I don’t know the exact number, but the number of patients will be more than tens of thousands when I imagine that each province has about a couple of thousand registered patients and the numbers of unregistered patients. Some of my colleagues said that they were told that the number of patients is about 20-30 thousands. According to a colleague of a tuberculosis ward, the number of patients has remarkably increased when there is not enough food in
An epidemic, paratyphoid broke out and is prevalent throughout Changpyong-gu,
Forcibly Levied Human Excrement in
Severe Sanitation Problem Caused By Human Excrement Powder in the Air
The stink smell spread out the entire place in
Doctors in the Health and Epidemic Prevention Station(위생방역소 sanitation center for prevention of infectious disease) said human excrement causes various parasitic diseases such as hookworm and round worm diseases. Unfortunately they have no authority not to make human manure. Provision of santonin has been discontinued for several years because of medicine shortages, which used to be distributed every spring and fall by the government until a few years ago. Dr. Jang Hyang-sun is (63) worried that the death toll would increase once parasitic diseases are prevalent under severe starvation. She felt heartbroken at the fact that there is no way to save people as a result of lack of medicine and food.
However, residents do not recognize the seriousness of parasitic diseases. People are in an awkward position. They have to deliver the human excrement by their hands since they cannot resist the Party’s direction to fulfill the requirement of excrement amount by themselves.
People Annoyed by the Order, “Don’t Carry Things in Hand-Cart during the Day”
Last April 26th, residents in
News of Incidents and Accidents
Last April 11th, a fire broke out on a fishing ship from Hamhung at
On April 14th, a fire broke out on a thrashing floor of the first unit(1반) of Ryonggye-ri at Saebyul County in North Hamgyung Province. The fire burned 28 ton of ears of corn, 1.5 ton of rice shoots and vinyl films. The lost corn was the reserved food for food rationing to farmers and other workers mobilized for farming this spring. The fire also destroyed the farming equipment that had been collected from here and there. The emergent help request was neglected by the
On April 16th, a forest fire occurred on the hill at the back of the livestock breeding farm at
Two women in their 40s scuffed each other in order to board a passenger train first at Sunchun station in
Even in that situation, the woman with the bloody head tried to find her bag filled with corn. But the corn bag was gone. Those kinds of accidents happen frequently because trains often leave even when passengers are not fully boarded. The trains are already full while people with bags on their head try to board on the train so the accidents are almost expected. It is not uncommon to see people cry, dog on others or thrust their finger to other people’s face with grasping their bags after trains leave. Even for the frequent accidents, the Party has not found the solution yet
[Opinion] We Have To Get Ready Before the Cyclone of Famine Descends on
A powerful cyclone called Nargis struck
Such international cooperation in the face of a natural disaster indicates the maturing collective consciousness of the global community. Especially, when you consider how that the world condemned
The North Korean government, which is trying its best to cover up the extent of the seriousness of the food shortage crisis to save the face and survival of the regime, must come clean as soon as possible. The North Korean government must recognize the depth of the food crisis and suffering of the people and develop possible solutions so that it doesn’t become another mass famine. If the North Korean government cannot resolve the situation by itself, then it must ask for help to the international community. What meaning is there to the maintenance of the regime of the Democratic People’s
On the other hand, the South Korean government’s policy of not providing aid until asked by
The South Korean people are currently concerned over the beef import policies of the government. At the same time, we hope that the South Korean people will take a moment to pay heed to the lives who are suffering from hunger just across the border. While it’s important to be concerned about the wrong things to eat, it is also important to listen to the cries of those who have nothing to eat. We must be concerned that a cyclone of famine, even more powerful than Nargis that struck
 Monaegi(모내기;transplanting rice seedlings)
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