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North Korea Today No. 205

RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR NORTH KOREAN SOCIETY
http://www.goodfriends.or.kr/eng

No. 205 September 2008


Soldiers Steal Farmers Cow and Assault Police Investigators
Fatal Truck Accident near Daehongdan and Yeonsa County Leaves Seven Dead
The Gimchaek Iron Mill and Daehongdan Farm Strike a Deal
Potato Shortage for Area Ryanggang Province Due to Rising Gas Prices
Two Bodies Discovered in Dooman River, Onsung County
Inspector General Kills Pedestrian While Illegally Operating Vehicle
18 Vehicle Accidents in the First Quarter of 2008 Reports 116 Woolim Company


Soldiers Steal Farmers Cow and Assault Police Investigators
On June 12, two soldiers at the 4.25 military training camp in Moonmoo-ri, Seoheung County, North Hwanghae Province, stole and killed a laboring cow (부림소) of the 5th farming unit.

Suspecting military personnel involvement, police investigators went to the commanding officers at the training camp. When questioned, the officers denied allegations and refused to assist the police, saying “there is no evidence that our soldiers stole the cow. You should have more proof before suspecting any military personnel.” An altercation ensued when the military officers were quoted as yelling, "How dare you suspect our soldiers with this crime!" According to the police report, soldiers at the training camp beat the police investigators and damaged their bikes. Appeals to the commanding general met with the same resistance and defiance to take action.

One of the investigators from the assault informed a family member employed at the Defense Security Command. The criminal case was immediately reported to the Ministry of the People's Armed Forces.

Military Prosecutors examined all the witnesses in both the original theft and the assault and battery of police investigators. On July 22nd, soldiers in both incidents were found guilty and received a public conviction at the Gahraegol field (가래골 벌판) of Moonmoo-ri for theft and damaging civilian and military relationships. Accomplices were sentenced to thirteen years at a reeducation center.

Fatal Truck Accident near Daehongdan and Yeonsa County Leaves Seven Dead
August 3, on the return trip after delivering iron plates to Daehongdan Farm, a Gimchaek Iron Mill truck carrying fifteen tons of potatoes overturned at the border area of Daehongdan and Yeonsa County. The wives of four Gimchaek Iron Mill employees who were in the truck at the time died at the scene, three others were injured. Three farmers of Daehongdan who boarded the truck to go to Chungjin Market also died. It is reported that the employees took the truck to buy produce in Ryanggang Province: potatoes were scattered across the road. The Yeonsa County Police Station is currently investigating the events. The driver is being detained at the Yeonsa County police station for further questioning.

The Gimchaek Iron Mill and Daehongdan Farm Strike a Deal
Since halfway through last year, the employees of Gimchaek Iron Mill of Chungjin City, North Hamgyong Province have been without proper food rationing. A few months ago, the Mill and Daehongdan Farm of Ryanggang Province struck a business contract. The agreement stated that the Mill would trade 200 square meters of iron plates and 13,000 meters of iron rebar with 70 tons of Daehongdan Farm potatoes to provide the workers with food.

Potato Shortage for Area Ryanggang Province Due to Rising Gas Prices
The potatoes harvested at the Daehongdan potato farm, Ryanggang Province are not reaching some of the neediest throughout Ryanggang Province. The Education and Health Department of Hyesan City and the Construction Shock Troop Brigade in Ryanggang Province are still accepting potato deliveries. And the schools receiving private contributions are able to meet delivery costs as well. However, many of the less wealthy schools are currently doing without the staple.

Two Bodies Discovered in Dooman River, Onsung County
July 24, two dead bodies were found along the Dooman River (두만강) by a Watergate guard in Onsung County, Northern Hamgyong Province. The police began to investigations in neighborhoods throughout the county in order to identify the bodies. One of the deceased was believed to be a male in his 40's. Police are also conducting investigations into those that have recently traveled to the county. A wife of a missing area man who had been missing for a few days confirmed the body belonged to her 41 year old husband. The identity of the other body has not been disclosed.

Inspector General Kills Pedestrian While Illegally Operating Vehicle
On July 24, Onsung County, Northern Hamgyong Province, an Inspector General killed a woman crossing the street while driving a military vehicle on a market street. At 4:00pm, the accused stopped to inspect a military vehicle and decided to drive it without a valid driver’s license, at which time he struck a woman. She died at the scene. According to one eye-witness, “How could an inspector do such a stupid and inappropriate thing? He is supposed to be a role model for the public. The military is irresponsible.”

18 Vehicle Accidents in the First Quarter of 2008 Reports 116 Woolim Company
116 Woolim Company of Chungjin City, Northern Hamgyong Province reported that there were a total of eighteen vehicle accidents in the first quarter of this year. On July 23, a Woolim Company bus slid off a hill on the way to Gimchaek City. Two died and nine injured from the accident.




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