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North Korea Today No. 235

RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR NORTH KOREAN SOCIETY
No. 235 October 2008
At Hamheung Branch of National Sciences Institute Food Rationing Resumed After Almost a Year
Areas along the Coastline in North Hamgyong Province Harvest Less Agricultural Crop than Last Year
Booguh-ri Farm in Chungjin Barely Harvests 1.2 MT of Corn
A Resident of Kangwon Province Traveled All the Way Up To Chungjin to Die
Yeechun Army Training Center Trades Tank Fuel with Food


At Hamheung Branch of National Sciences Institute Food Rationing Resumed After Almost a Year
Hamheung branch of National Sciences Institute, South Hamgyong Province resumed food rationing after almost a year on occasion of 10.10 Anniversary. Ration included rice, ground corn, and flour, in the amount equivalent to half a month’s ration, together with 1 kg of bean sprout, a bottle of soy oil, five duck eggs and three packs of “Baeksan” cigarette. Due to a year’s suspension of food rationing, many scientists got involved in commercial activities and produced narcotics as a means of survival, which drew a close watch by the authorities.

Recently many scientists with degrees of masters and doctorates produced ‘ice (amphetamine)’ and got arrested while trying to sell it to dealers. While ordinary people arrested on charges of producing ‘ice’ received severe penalties, the scientists ended up receiving only stern warnings, in consideration of food crisis, with all the materials and equipments used in production of ‘ice’ confiscated by the authorities.
Areas along the Coastline in North Hamgyong Province Harvest Less Agricultural Crop than Last Year
According to the final report on the harvest of North Hamgyong Province, areas such as cities of Gimchaek and Chungjin along the coastline harvested less than last year. Areas such as City of Hoeryong, counties of Saebyul and Eunduk were expected to have good harvests this year, but frosts during September caused crop reduction of corn. The overall harvest seems to be less than the last year’s. The region reported to the provincial party that there would not be any farm that meets the expected amount of harvested crop.

Booguh-ri Farm in Chungjin Barely Harvests 1.2 MT of Corn
Team 5 of the Second Work Unit, Booguh-ri Farm, Chungarm District, City of Chungjin of North Hamgyong Province harvested 1.2 MT of corn. This particular field used to produce five to six MT on average, and minimum 3 MT per 1 Jungbo (unit of area, 1 Jungbo is 2.45acres, and 3,000 Pyong). This year’s crop of much less than half the usual disappointed many farm workers. A farm worker claimed that this year’s poor crop was caused not by the weather but by lack of fertilizer in the spring.

A Resident of Kangwon Province Traveled All the Way Up To Chungjin to Die
Early October, a dead body was found at a trash collection site in City of Chungjin, North Hamgyong Province. Autopsy results identified the body as a male resident in his fifties of Tongchun, Kangwon Province. Further investigations revealed that he had lost his wife due to starvation and disease. He has been looking for his two daughters, ages of seventeen and nineteen, who left home to seek food.

According to his neighbors, he left home after receiving the younger daughter’s words that they were in Chungjin. He was determined to live together with them no matter what. According to peddlers in Soonam market, he has been begging for food more than twenty days and apparently, he collapsed after he was worn out. Considering there is no sign of external wound in the body, the authorities presume that he died of starvation.

Yeechun Army Training Center Trades Tank Fuel with Food
A tank battalion of Yeechun Army Training Center in Kangwon Province conducted a field exercise called “Storm Operation” sometime ago. This battalion ran out of food supply and traded tank fuel with food this spring. This caused many tanks unable to participate in the field exercise. They tried to borrow some tank fuel from the neighboring farms, but it was insufficient. The assessors from the Defense Ministry had to exclude some tanks not ready to participate from the exercise.

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