GoodFriends: Research Institute For North Korean Society

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North Korea Today No. 208

RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR NORTH KOREAN SOCIETY

http://www.goodfriends.or.kr/eng
No. 208 September 2008
Lecture for Officials, A Stern Warning
Heechun City Machine Factory Caught Privately Manufacturing Parts
All 15 Prosecutors Arrested at Dukchun Prosecutor’s Office
Accountant at a Pulp Mill in Gilju, “I could not help myself but to embezzle the company money to pay for the reception expenses.”
The Inspection of Anti-Social Activities in Sinuiju Is Extended Until the End of the Year
Strengthened Legal Regulations Regarding Pine Mushrooms




Lecture for Officials, A Stern Warning
Recently, there were lectures given to military officials in cities and counties throughout the nation. The lecture was instigated by an inspection report, stating that the amount of illegal and criminal activities committed by officials is greater than that of civilians. Cases of overlooking drug trafficking, involvement in drug sales, taking bribes in return for covering up smugglers in the border area, and hiding assets accumulated through illegal actives were all uncovered during the inspections. The lecture report was based on the findings of the inspection team, which was made up of members of the Central Party anti-social activity’s group and the police. The lecture report was prepared with the following content:

“The officials cheat the party, betray the trust of the party and fall into crime when they become blinded by money and material wealth. In some areas, officials care only for their own comfort and ignore the suffering of the workers, treating them like objects. Other officials look down on their employees as more money fills their own pockets. The workers live in warehouses or in public buildings, putting up with discomfort and fatigue because they don’t have a home. However, some officials use the materials that belong to the factory and public enterprise to turn their houses into luxury homes. From now on, regardless of the position, official or not, whoever commits a crime by conspiring with law-breaking merchants, by protecting merchants from other provinces and by providing lodging unlawfully will be prosecuted by law and expelled to rural areas.”

One of the officials who attended the lecture gave his reaction, “There has never been a time when officials were warned with this sort of declaration. This is a stiff warning against illegal activities by officials.”

Heechun City Machine Factory Caught Privately Manufacturing Parts
The Heechun City machine factory in Jagang Province had been producing parts for cars and tractors in addition to those intended for government use. Workers have been failing to show up for work since the factory stopped providing rations during the hunger crisis, so factory officials decided to produce additional parts in order to resolve the problem. On August 3, after selling the additional parts, the factory provided 5 kg of rice to each worker with the profit from their sale to a trading company in Heysan City. However, the county prosecutor’s office inspection teams conducted a thorough investigation to determine, “whether or not the money from the parts sale benefited the state, if the financial condition of the factory is good, as well as the status of the factory officials’ personal consumption.” The results of the investigation revealed that the factory officials on average took two million won from the parts sale and the workers received 5 kg of rice and some wages. On August 18, the production of extra parts stopped due to the inspection. Meanwhile, it has been reported that the reason behind the sudden inspection by the county prosecutor’s office was because some dissatisfied workers filed complaints at the prosecutor’s office. The workers felt unhappy about the huge gaps between lives of the factory manager, county secretary, and some of the officials’ whose livelihood suddenly improved and the lives of the workers.

All 15 Prosecutors Arrested at Dukchun Prosecutor’s Office
All of the 15 prosecutors at the Dukchun prosecutor’s office have been arrested. The charge is corruption in collusion with residents who engaged illegal business. Except for the three low-level prosecutors who were charged with minor crimes, the chief and 12 other prosecutors had their houses confiscated and, depending on the severity of the crime, received a punishment of expulsion and more than 10 years of re-education.

Accountant at a Pulp Mill in Gilju, “I could not help myself but to embezzle the company money to pay for the reception expenses.”
An accounting manager at a pulp mill in Gilju in the North Hamgyong Province was caught during a prosecutor’s investigation and interrogated. The mill has sold various size paper to provide corn for their workers. However, the accounting manager was charged and arrested for skimming 150 Won from the profits made from selling the papers. The accountant explained that he was hiding the money to secretly meet the requests made by the mill and the County Party’s officials. He said, “When the investigators from the Provincial Party and the Central Party visit, all kinds of reception expenses are needed. The company officials asked me to give them the money without making any record of it because they said they would pay back the money afterwards. But since the only way to make up the lost reception expenses was from the profits of the paper mill, I couldn’t help but to take some money out.”

The Inspection of Anti-Social Activities in Sinuiju Is Extended Until the End of the Year
The inspection of anti-social activities in Sinuiju in North Pyongan Province was planned to end on August 15, but it has been declared that the investigation will continue until the end of the year. The problem of luxurious houses owned by some residents has been selected as this year’s inspection issue. The city instructed that one-story houses higher than the standard height of 3. 8 meters are to be demolished. The city authorities regard the taller houses as the luxurious ones because they require more materials to build.

Strengthened Legal Regulations Regarding Pine Mushrooms
On August 22, the Central Party handed down a policy entitled “Tougher Regulations for Pine Mushrooms” to the city and military security authorities in North Hamgyong Province. The Party announced, “those who illegally pick up and distribute pine mushrooms are committing a criminal act which misappropriates North Korea’s revolutionary fund. In order to cope with the world-wide food shortage crisis and prepare for the revolutionary fund, we need to ensure necessary rice though well-managed foreign currency earning jobs, including pine mushroom sales to other countries. We thus decided to strengthen the regulations regarding pine mushrooms and the legal control of the mushrooms.” Accordingly, the crackdown on pine mushroom smuggling along the North Korea-China border has been intensified. The Party has given police stations and prosecutors the legal authority not only to crack down on the illegal pine mushroom trade but also to search for the mushroom traders’ houses. Some police circulate fake rumors, saying they are looking for people who can sell them pine mushrooms, in order to arrest illegal pine mushroom traders.




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