GoodFriends: Research Institute For North Korean Society

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North Korea Today No. 168

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


North Korea Today 168th 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.”


(Image by Google Earth)


Seven Additional Drug Enforcement Security Agents Dispatched to Hamheung
Massive Drug Enforcement in Chungjin
Plans for Assuring Normal Operation of Railways
More Security Agents Dispatched to Coastal Areas
In Hoeryong, Even Drinking Alcohol Considered Guilty
Ryanggang Province, Democratic Women’s Union Says in General Residents’ Meeting,“Don’t allow soldiers of People’s Army into your private home”
Representatives of Neighborhood Unit and the Chair of Elementary Groups, had Their Names Taken Off the Party Register in Onsung County


Seven Additional Drug Enforcement Security Agents Dispatched to Hamheung
Seven additional National Security Agents for drug enforcement have been dispatched to Hamheung, South Hamgyong Province, which is known for the hub of drug manufacturing and trafficking. The authorities have maintained strict enforcement policies for several years, as they believe anti-socialist ideas are widely spread and many types of crime, including the manufacturing of ‘Ice’ (amphetamine) are rampant in Hamheung city.

In Hamheung, public trials for drug offenders were held again on June 13th, 17th and 27th. On June 27th, there was an open trial for six people. The first case involved the individual responsible for the manufacturing of ‘Ice’ and the second was for the person making glass tubes for inhaling. The other 4 cases were for merchants who allegedly engaged in drug trafficking at the community center of Sungchun river area (성천강구역회관). The person found guilty of manufacturing ‘ice’ was sentenced to eleven years of re-education, while 2 years was given to the one found guilty of creating glass tubes. The 4 merchants received 5-7 year sentences.

Despite the strict enforcement efforts, the drug problems still persist. In an effort to solve the crime problems, 7 agents with reputations for efficient enforcement, were specially selected. The 7 agents dispatched by the Security Department, expressed strong determination at the lower-level committee meeting, saying, “We will make Chairman Kim Jong-Il happy by transforming the turbid water into clear water. We will root out all the crimes including ‘ice’ manufacturing.” People who heard the news said, “Experienced professional killers have come,” however they expressed worries because innocent people may have to face unnecessary hardship as a result.

Massive Drug Enforcement in Chungjin
On July 2, there were public trials for those engaged in the manufacturing and trafficking of ‘Ice’ in the arena of Chungjin city, North Hamgyong Province. Mr. Ryu Sung-gil (49), an employee of Gumeunsan Company (금은산회사), found guilty, received a life sentence. Lee Han-beom (47), a resident of Guanhaedong (관해동) of Shinam District, received a 12 year re-education sentence, and his younger brother Lee Han-chul (43) received a 9 year re-education sentence, respectively for the crime of attempted transporting and trafficking of ‘ice’ in the border area. In addition, the police authorities in charge of the area where the convicted people are from, received stiff warnings, and the security officers in both areas were fired and dismissed from the force. In the meantime, the news was relayed to every city and county police station. Orders were issued asking for strict enforcement.

Plans for Assuring Normal Operation of Railways
On June 21, plans for assuring the normal operation of railways were released. After reviewing the reports of the railroad, the Central Party announced the plans as follows: “The nation’s railroad transportation is a very important area that cannot be delayed. The railroad operations do not meet schedules, and the operation of freight transportation is not smooth because the locomotives are in poor condition and the passenger cars at every station are not repaired properly. As such, North Korea’s Rail Authority and the National Defense Committee must give more importance to this issue and come up with solutions. The regional railroad authorities in charge of railroad transportation of goods and materials should assign the schedules in a scientific manner in order to achieve perfect operations. The transportation should be done safely, without accidents, by maintaining good repair work on the rails.” In an effort to achieve these plans, North Korea’s Rail Authority and the National Defense Committee, decided to dispatch crews to each railroad authority office to assist with inspection and other pending problems.

More Security Agents Dispatched to Coastal Areas
More security agents have been dispatched to coastal areas. There have been many incidents of defection in the South using the boats belonging to public enterprises and fishery enterprises on the shore. Therefore, more surveillance agents have been assigned in order to prevent defections. This year alone, there were three orders from the National Security Department asking for thorough enforcement to check the number of registered boats and also to impose the rules and orders of departure and arrival from the sea.

In Hoeryong, Even Drinking Alcohol Considered Guilty
Hoeryong City has been reinforcing crackdown on residents recently. As a result people are cautious of their words and deeds because even trifling matters are targets of supervision. Drinking is especially treated as a crime. When somebody smells of alcohol or reveals any signs of drinking, he is detained. Investigations are then performed on where the person drank, with whom, what they discussed, and where they bought the alcohol. Although people see these as temporary policy, they are resisting against excessive crackdown.

Ryanggang Province, Democratic Women’s Union Says in General Residents’ Meeting, “Don’t allow soldiers of People’s Army into your private home”
The robberies in Poongsuh County (풍서군), Ryanggang Province, committed by soldiers of the Peoples Army, are increasing. They invade private farms and homes. As a response, the Democratic Women’s Union emphasized, “Never allow soldiers of People’s Army to come into your house, and never buy anything from them or barter something for food.”

Representatives of Neighborhood Unit and the Chair of Elementary Groups, had Their Names Taken Off the Party Register in Onsung County
Hur Sook-ja (51), a representative of neighborhood unit, and Lee Soon-keum (43), a chairperson of the elementary groups in Onsung County, North Hamgyong Province, were punished by losing their party register. This punishment was the result of an unfaithful commitment to their work with an anti-socialistic disposition. They went around, neglecting their accountability as party members because of their private home affairs. They have been criticized for being unfaithful to their duties.



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