GoodFriends: Research Institute For North Korean Society

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North Korea Today No. 227

RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR NORTH KOREAN SOCIETY
http://www.goodfriends.or.kr/eng
No. 227 October 2008
Residents of Hoeryong City Did Not Attend a Civil Defense Exercise
Release the Soldiers Who Stole the Corn and Beat the Security Guard
“Suffering will end within 3 years” Transforms Into “World will change within 3 years”
“Praising on the people is not a revolution”
Ruthless Shooting to a Boat Going Out to the Open Sea
Punishment for Market Managers Who Stashed Away a Market Tax
Alcohol is a Waste of Grain. Thus, a Thorough Control of It is Necessary.
The Investigation of the City Management Started


Residents of Hoeryong City Did Not Attend a Civil Defense Exercise
On September 24, the defense-training program for civilians (민간반항공소개훈련; 민방위훈련) was held in Hoeryong City, North Hamgyong Province, but the participation was very poor. Only 1/5 of the total population attended. The other 80 % of the city’s residents were out farming the private patch fields or stayed at home. The authorities from Civilian Defense ordered the residents who did not participate in the training program to pay 5,000 NK won, but not many people seem to care.

Release the Soldiers Who Stole the Corn and Beat the Security Guard
The authorities from North Hamgyong Province received 15kg of hot peppers from a military base. In exchange, a soldier who committed robbery was freed. On September 24, this soldier went into a crop field in Youngsoo-ri of Hoeryong City, and beat the farm security guard and destroyed his home. Later, other security guards arrested him and sent him to the military base, but also decided to report the incident to the Central Party. Fearing punishment from the Central Party, the authorities from the military base urgently sent 15 kg of hot peppers to the authorities of Northern Hamgyong Province. Further, they promised to pay for all the medical costs as well as the damages to the property. When this story was heard by Shim Jang-won, he said, “The last meeting of the government parties emphasized, ‘have no mercy for those who steal crops,’ but I now realize that it takes only 15 kg of red peppers for mercy.”

“Suffering will end within 3 years” Transforms Into “World will change within 3 years”
Park Hang-ja (67), who lives in North Hwanghae Province, is known to read other people’s fortunes well. At the beginning of September, a couple visited and asked, "When will we be able to get overcome this hard time and constant illness?” Park looked at them very closely and said, "Suffering will end within 3 years. So, don’t lose your faith because when the time comes, we will all have a good time.” However, after the word went into the security agency (보위부), Park was arrested on September 24. The prediction that, “the world will change in 3 years" and the instigation of innocent people, were the reasons for the arrest. A person who knows Park well said, “Why would Park have such guts to say such a thing. This is a conspiracy to arrest fortune-tellers.”

“Praising on the people is not a revolution”
In Wonsan City, Kangwon Province, a staff member went got into serious trouble because of something he said while drinking with others. He said, “Our generation is living in the most troublesome period. Foreigners’ perception of North Koreans is they are the most docile people in the world. Even they are surprised that we are overcoming this difficult time.” His words eventually went into the security agency, who then ordered 6 months of detention for saying things like ‘troublesome period’ and ‘difficult times.’ When the local residents heard this, they asked, “How can giving praise to people lead to punishment?”

Ruthless Shooting to a Boat Going Out to the Open Sea
On September 22, 4 crew members of a squid hunting boat from Heungnam city, in the South Hamgyong Province, were shot to death by the Navy. The Navy explained that they fired at the boat because it was moving for the open sea toward South Korea. The residents could not understand how the Navy could assume the boat was fleeing to South Korea. The neighbors and friends of the deceased were suspicious of their explanation because those who were killed were from a fishing family, who did not know anything about South Korea and would never have thought of fleeing there. In response, the naval authorities said, “We followed the instruction from the above, who instructed us to relentlessly shoot any boat trying to going out to the open sea.”

Punishment for Market Managers Who Stashed Away a Market Tax
In Sariwon of the North Hwanghae Province, six market managers were fired and sent to the city labor training center for embezzling a portion of market tax. These managers collected the daily market tax and divided it amongst themselves. They were sentenced to return the entire amount they misappropriated to the government after the city prosecutor office discovered their embezzlement.

Alcohol is a Waste of Grain. Thus, a Thorough Control of It is Necessary.
On September 25, the North Korean authorities re-established firm control over the producing and selling of home-brewed alcohol. In addition, the Central Party said, “The fact that some residents are making alcohol out of food is a waste of grain.” The Party also instructed each work unit, “harvest grain without wasting any of it,” and to the police of each area, “Banishment to the countryside if anyone is caught selling home-brewed alcohols or selling it to markets or volunteering service regions (봉사망).” Accordingly, the city, county officials and supervisors of companies are learning the instruction from the Party, “In order for us to overcome the current worldwide food crisis, we need to provide support for the farms such that we will harvest without wasting even one grain of rice.”

The Investigation of the City Management Started
The Central Party has instructed each Province to begin investigation of the city management. The Investigation, which will consist of the Province and the City Management Teams, will specifically focus on the illegal activities that occur in “the building of a new house, the remodeling of an existing house, the structural modification of an apartment, and the selling and buying of houses.”

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