GoodFriends: Research Institute For North Korean Society

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North Korea Today No. 157

Research Institute for North Korean Society
http://www.goodfriends.or.kr/eng


North Korea Today 157th Edition July 2008

“Research Institute for North Korean Society of Good Friends, in order to bring news of the food crisis in North Korea more accurately and quickly, will increase its e-newsletter frequency to more than one issue per week. As such, the release dates might shift. Thank you for your understanding and attention to this looming crisis. We at Good Friends hope to be a bridge between the North Korean people and the world.”


Food in Port Nampo, Distributed Throughout South Pyongan
3.5 MT of Rice Confiscated from a Dealer in City of Hoeryong Area
Prudence Requested in the Army Recruiting Activities along the National Border
Public Trial for Twelve Including Narcotics Smugglers in Hesan
Another Public Trial of a Narcotics Dealer on June 17 in City of Hamheung
Government’s Strict Record Keeping of People’s Movement Reminds Residents of Japanese Occupation



Food in Port Nampo, Distributed Throughout South Pyongan
June 13, Rice and maize have arrived at the Port Nampo in the City of Nampo and this is to be delivered to all the cities and the counties in the South Pyongan province for the workers food rations. This is the full rations for the workers, but in quantity, it would only mean 5 days worth of rations.

All the representatives from the counties and cities in South Pyongan were present at the Port Nampo to receive their share, there were some trucks from the People’ s Armed Forces were seen, these were from the rear troops of the military units under the No.3 Army Corp.

3.5 MT of Rice Confiscated from a Dealer in City of Hoeryong
On June 12, the police in the City of Hoeryung, North Hamgyong Province confiscated 3.5 MT of rice stashed by a dealer in his house. Kim Hak-soon of Saemaeul-dong(새마을동) hid rice worth 9.5 million won in North Korean currency. City authorities handed the confiscated rice over to the local food administration. The officials warned that they would continue to unconditionally confiscate any rice the dealers hoard in large amounts.

Prudence Requested in the Army Recruiting Activities along the National Border Area
The Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces(인민무력부) is determined to be more prudent in army recruiting activities starting in July along the national border area. It was pointed out during the Expanded Meeting of the Army and the Party that many infamous shooting incidents were instigated by those recruits from the national border area such as Chungjin, Hoeryung and Eunduk. Consequently, the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces directed the recruiting administrators in cities and counties along the national border area that only best students should be selected even at the risk of not meeting the recruitment goal by one hundred.

Public Trial for Twelve Including Narcotics Smugglers in Hesan
On June 12, the City of Hesan, Ryanggang Province conducted a public trial of twelve in a stadium where the residents were gathered. Most of the twelve were smugglers of narcotics and colored metals such as lead, zinc and copper. Three were sentenced to life imprisonment and four were sentenced to more than ten years in prison. On June 17, a public trial was held for Kim Myung-il (age 47) who was arrested for dealing illegal narcotics. Kim, a railroad worker, was sentenced to one year in prison in front of the residents of Hyesan-dong and Sinheung-dong of City of Hyesan. The law enforcement officers had been secretly investigating Kim. The house search produced 850g of ‘Ice’ (amphetamine) and two cell phones manufactured in South Korea. The authorities appealed to the residents that their awareness toward the various smuggling activities, illegal deals, border crossing, and usage of cell phones should be promptly reported to the authorities.

Another Public Trial of a Narcotics Dealer on June 17 in City of Hamheung
On June 13 and 17, public trials were held at the market place of Sapo District of City of Hamheung against illegal narcotics dealers. Those on trials were Kim Tae-Ho, a worker at Hamheung branch of National Science Academy and a police officer of Patrol Unit of Hamheung City Police, and Lee Gul, an official of the secret information department in the provincial party (도당 통보과;밀고과). The Kim and Lee were released from their jobs and kicked out of the party. Two middle school students in possession of ‘ice’ were arrested by the Natioal Security agents. In consideration of their being minors, they were transferred to the police.

Government’s Strict Record Keeping of People’s Movement Reminds Residents of Japanese Occupation
North Korean authorities are strengthening the security measures throughout the country saying, “This year is the sixtieth anniversary of the Party’s founding and of the Republic. August 3 is the day of election of the delegates to the Supreme People’s Assembly. On this occasion, those agents hostile to socialism may covertly attempt to destroy and disturb the country and therefore we have to raise awareness to those possibilities.” Members of the Neighborhood Units in armbands keep activity journals on the movements of all people passing by throughout the day and night. The residents complain that this reminds them of the days when the country was under Japanese occupation. The security personnel ask questions like “Where are you going on what purpose?” or “Where are you staying on what purpose?” and record all the details and report them. It has become difficult to receive permissions for trips, especially for those who may have once been a convict or investigated for possible detention. When a trip permission is obtained, it contains a mark that is discernable only by police or the National Security agents. This secret mark reminds residents of the movie, ‘Sea of Blood’ in which the heroine, Eulnam’s mother, receives a trip permission that contained a phrase written by the village head, “This bitch belongs to a red family and requires a severe investigation.” The village head knew that this woman could not read and took advantage of the knowledge. The residents sigh, “Are we Eulnam’s mothers? Our life now is no different from that under the Japanese rule.”



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