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North Korea Today No. 116_Supplement Edition

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North Korea Today
116th Supplement Edition March 2008


Happy to Live with Mother and Brother
Kim Soonhee, who lives in Songpyung district, in Chungjin city, has suffered a great loss. Her husband died 8 years ago. Her family had suffered from hunger and her children left home to find food. Once she had a happy family with two children and a husband who was her college sweetheart. Since the Arduous March, she has lost her dream and her happiness. She could not return to her workplace where she once went with her husband. They frequently starved because there was no food rationing. In the early stage of the Arduous March she endured by making corn power soup mixed with wild grass that was gathered by her relatives or by burning collected coals.

After nearly starving to death, her husband became seriously ill from eating common goosefoot plant (능쟁이풀) soup, normally used for pig feed, which was not thoroughly cooked. At that time her elder son was 14, and younger son was 7 years old. The family had no medical aid and her husband died from the shock of eating the undercooked soup. His body became swollen and he suffered severe diarrhea. From the shock of his death, she began to suffer both psychologically and physically. She became so sick that she couldn’t care for her family. Her children began to wander the country to survive. They spent 6 years searching for scraps, getting beaten from because they were forced to steal, and getting frostbite from sleeping outdoors in the severe winter. Finally, they reconnected with their mother when they were 20 and 13 years old. Now, the family lives in poverty. The mother survives by selling noodles and coal. Although they still face continual hunger, they smile brightly because their family has been reunited.

Severely Beaten Homeless Children (Kkotjebis)
On March 10th, a group of homeless children (Kkotjebis) was killed at Gowon County station in South Hamgyong Province. About 20 homeless children were severely beaten by railway cargo guards, after the guards caught the children stealing during cargo loading time. The guards used sticks to beat down the children. Several were beaten to death. The officers cast the dead children outside the station. Among the homeless children, there were two girls who were about 10 years old. No body tried to take care of them because they were not from Gowon County. Han Youngchul, who was in the station at that time, lamented “this is too much even though morality is paralyzed from a deteriorating living condition. How our people have been living in such a dreadful state.”

Lamenting Husband Observing Wife Day
Husbands’ lamentations deepened after March 8th wife day (3.8부녀절). Kim Kwangchul cried “Although I am not a good husband to my wife, I could comfort my wife by eating out with her on March 8th, wife day. But now I can’t even dream about it. I think my situation is so pathetic and pitiful.” Park Sanghyuek, who married recently, is in trouble of not having a normal meal because his wife cannot do business. He says he does not see any hope in life because business is prohibited and the price of rice priceis sky-rocketing. Meanwhile, the government is not providing any promising policy. Additionally, the non-tax burden is increasing. So, men shout everywhere asking how they can be good husbands. So far, March 8th wife day, passed with the deep lamentation of the husbands.

Urangcheon Power Plant Explosion Accident
This past March 8th, there was an explosion at the Urangcheon Power Plant construction site in North Hamgyong Province. The Gimchaek city battalion began to dig out not knowing that one of 9 blasting gunpowders had misfired. The misfired gunpowder exploded during work time. 5 people died on the spot, and 3 people were seriously injured.

Bankrupt from Drug Business Investment
26 years old Lee Gumsun, who was involved in a drug business in Shinam district in Chungjin city, was arrested during a national security office screening. She earned a lot of money from the drug business in Sinuiju through a customs connection. She received investment from money owners to grow her business. She collected around nine thousand won with a high interest rate from five money owners(돈주). Her dream of earning big money disappeared after she was arrested on the way to Sinuiju. The money owners turned deadly pale. One lender went to the hospital after having a heart attack from worrying about the money.

The Itch (Scabies) Occurrence at Relief Institutions in Gimchaek City
Scabies(옴) is spreading at relief institutions in Gimchaek city and adjacent counties because of poor hygiene management. 21 homeless children (Kkotjebis) with scabies were counted on March 10th. They are quarantined at a warehouse at each relief institution. On March 5, 12 years old Kim Youngjin died at the warehouse in Gimchaek city. It turned out that he was infected with a spirochete after having treatment to prevent the inflammation from spreading to his whole body. Emergency prevention policies for epidemics are under consideration because of the concern that the infectious disease will spread out into other regions.

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North Korea Today No. 116

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

North Korea Today
116th Edition March 2008

Food Shortage Lowers The Attendance Of A Munitions Factory in Eunduk County
It Has Been a While Since Rice Has Run Out in Ryongchun County
Jaeryoung County Has a Long Face At the Food Shortage
15 People Publicly Executed In Onsung County
“The Punishment Was Too Harsh.”
This Execution Was Designed To Stop People From Crossing Illegally
Increase in Sentence For Criminals Crossing The River To China
No Age Limit For Trading If Women Bear Many Children
“Newly-Wed Couples, Don’t Have Kids!”
The Only Thing Unprotected Children Learn Is Face-Reading
Kanggye City’s Measure To Assign Work In Companies To Women Under 40
Super-Rabbits Die Due To An Epidemic
Murder in Gooseung Factory
Notorious Machunryung Hill for Frequent Car Accidents
Increasing Widows in Samhae-dong Chungjin
6 Days of Drifting in the Sea


Food Rationing Stopped in Some Districts in Pyongyang since Last March
Some districts in Pyongyang have decided to stop food rationing since last March because of the worsening food problem. There is a rumor in Pyongyang that more people will die from starvation and diseases throughout the country before the grass grows in May. Meanwhile it is hard to find food even in Pyongsung market.

Farm Workers Can’t Work Because Of Lack of Food in the Breadbasket Regions
As we enter March, more and more farm worker households in South Hwanghae Province are making ends meet by eating gruel instead of rice because of the acute lack of food. Strangely enough, the rice prices in this traditional bread basket region are higher than those in North Hwanghae Province, prompting even the rice merchants to exclaim, “This is something we have never seen before in the republic.” In most farm areas in South Hwanghae Province, including Baechun, Yeonahn, and Ahnak Counties, the households were given only 40kg of rice in November. A new year has come and new season has turned since then, but so far there is no news of additional food distribution.

The task of planning for the farming season has been negatively impacted since the workers who had not been given food have stopped reporting to work. The managers of each farm collective have recognized the seriousness of the situation and reported to their superiors. The issue was taken up and discussed in the Provincial Party Meeting for South Hwanghae Province this past February. The Party Secretary has ordered the city and country party secretaries to strengthen ideological training for the farm workers while instructing the police to determine the farm workers who are not coming to work and compel them using all legal tools to return to work. They emphasized that everyone will really starve to death next year if the farm workers don’t do work during the crucial seeding season, so get them back to work using all necessary means.

Inspections of Farm Collectives in Uiju County in North Pyongan Province Due To Falsified Reports of Food Production Amounts
Because of problems with falsified food production reports in Uiju County in North Pyongan Province, inspections of local farm collectives by the military prosecutors’ office have begun. The Daemun-ri Farm Collective had reported that it had attained the production goal, but the actual amount that came into the Grain Policy Division(Local Food Administration Unit;양정사업소) of the local army was a far cry from the reported amount. Ultimately, this discrepancy resulted in prosecutors combing through the production numbers of every single working group in the farm collective and discovered that, even in one working group, there existed tons of discrepancy between the reported and delivered food production amount. The army decided to expand its inspection efforts, assuming that this is not an isolated incident. In response, one official said, “How are you going to solve this problem with inspections? It’s not a problem that has been around for one or two years. It’s an old problem throughout the republic.”

Chunma County in North Pyongan Province Also Has Serious Food Shortages
Chunma County in North Pyongan Province also has food shortages in March. Even the ordinary laborers, not to mention the farm workers, are barely surviving on corn gruel. Ahn Hyung-chul (46) has been spending all his time in the house over the winter because he lacked the energy to go out with little food to eat. His thirteen-year old son is so weak that it is questionable whether he can attend the first day of new school year on April 1st. His wife went to her older brother’s house all the way in Jongju County to see if she could obtain at least a few kg of corn but collapsed with a tearful disappointment upon arrival when she realized how difficult her brother’s household was as well.

Rice Prices in Jongju County in North Pyongan Province Hit 1,700 Won Per kg.
As of 3/13, the average rice price across the nation was 1,400-1,600 won per kg. But the prices are higher in certain counties located in areas outside the provincial seats. The rice price in Jongju County in North Pyongan Province hit 1,700 won per kg, which is 100 won higher than in Sinuiju. The prices for rice currently rival those back in September and October of last year when they peaked. The price of rice in Sinuiju last October 5th was 1,600 won, which is the same price as today. The price of rice in Pyongyang last October 5th was 1,500 won, the same price today. The price for corn oil also jumped noticeably. What used to be traded at 4,000-5,000 won last October is now sold at 6,000-7,000 won.

Pyongyang Government Officials Say, “2008 Will Be an Arduous Year”
Reportedly, some of mid-and low-level officials did not receive food rations for this March. An official said that “this year is going to be a difficult time even for mid- and low-level officials,” which demonstrates that North Korea’s chronic food shortages have worsened and affect food rations even for government officials, not to mention ordinary people. This last February people have received 40 percent of the normal ration. In March, however, the food ration has completely stopped except for central districts of Pyongyang. A professor who lives in a central district in Pyongyang mentioned that the food ration for March has dropped down to only 20 per cent of the normal ration. In addition, an official said that a rumor that the rice price is likely to rise from 1,500-1600won to 3,000 has been circulating among residents. The official continued to say that “when I asked people what made them believe the rice price increase is going to take place, they said it is because the food supply for government officials has been cut and the local trade has been banned. Overall, things are getting worse. People expressed their concerns about survival.” Residents seemed to be in fear of how much the rice price is going to soar; he described the gloomy mood of the public these days.

Female Merchants in Haeju City Fight with Market Managers
In Haeju City in South Hwanghae Province, the age restriction for market activities has created an unending source for small and large conflicts among the female merchants. Complaining that such restrictions will force them to die since it’s cutting off the only source of income for them in the absence of food distribution, these women are taking their complaints to the market managers. This past February 5th, nine women who were denied entrance into the market because of the age restrictions policy set up shop in one corner of the market nonetheless. The manager who spotted them gently chided them to pack up and go. But the women ignored the manager, leading to a loud shouting match that escalated to bodily altercations. The police came and arrested all those involved. The police interrogated the women to find out who the ring leader was, but no one opened their mouths. On the fourth day, under torture, a woman named Ri Chun-hee (38) confessed that she was the ring leader. The police let the other women go, except for Ri, whose crimes were considered grave. But when her young son came to the lockup and cried out for his mom, the eyes of those watching turned red.

As of March, Haeju City, like other cities, has not received food distribution. In such a situation, women had been barely surviving by trading in the markets. But when the age restriction was imposed, they immediately fell to the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. Haeju City, realizing the dire situation of these women, is turning a blind eye to these women trading in the markets even if they violate the age restrictions. But, as one city official pointed out, this is not an official redress policy and there will continue to be some forms of conflicts because of the age restrictions.

In Urgent Need of Securing Salt
North Korea is in urgent need of salt as the authority has failed to import even half of the planned quantity of salt from China since last year. The Fair Price Bureau (가격국) of the National Trade Agency(무역성) originally planned to purchase 1,000 MT of rock-salt, costing 42 dollars per MT from China, but it has been delayed. This is because China has maintained its position not to provide salt with the deferred payment. As the plan to import salt has been stumbling, the North Korean authority has decided to use the party funds for the payment.

Everyone Heads for Sinuiju to Get Fertilizers and Plastic Sheets
As the farming season started, all units are getting busy to have fertilizers and plastic sheets in preparation for farming. North Korea recently agreed on importing 3,000 MT of fertilizers with a 45-days deferred payment plan with a trade company in Dandong, China. Due to the fertilizer situation, the North Korean authority has decided to make payment with the party funds. As of March, 1,000 MT of fertilizers have been delivered through Sinuiju. Yet, the rest of 2,000 MT still need to be sent. People who try to obtain plastic sheets also continuously head for Sinuiju. With chronic food shortages, people are under enormous pressure that they would die of hunger next year if they ever miss this critical farming season. For this reason, all units are extremely competitive to have an additional piece of plastic sheet and one extra kilogram of fertilizer.

Chungjin City Concerned about Penalties for Lifting the Market Age Restrictions
Chungjin City has lifted the market age restrictions and has allowed all women to trade in markets regardless of their age until March 12th. This past March 3rd, the management offices of the local markets in Chungjin City moved Display Stands(매대) away from the markets, including Soonam district and Shinam district, in order to turn all the young women who are in conflict with the market age restrictions out of markets. In response to the management offices’ action, female local traders made a vigorous collective protest against the market age restriction policy on March 4th, claiming that if authorities continue to block market activities of young women, heads of households would refuse to go to work. As Chungjin City has not received any response on emergency measures to deal with the situation from the central party after its report, the Chungjin city officials decided to allow all women to trade in the local markets in the city. Although Law enforcement units of the municipal party authorized the decision to lift the market age restrictions out of necessity, they are concerned about the penalties which they may receive as they did it without the central party’s approval.

Confistication of Soybeans from Chungjin City Markets
While Chungjin City lifted the market age restrictions, it still maintains its restrictions on items to be sold. The City has banned selling soybeans in markets and has monitored the trade activities since March 10, 2008. Whenever police officers find soybeans to be sold in markets they confisticate soybeans without an exception. Seized soybeans are sent to the Grain Policy Division(Local Food Administration Unit). In response to the question about the reason for confiscating soybeans, “At present, soybeans produced in North Korea are being transferred to South Korea through the trade with China. This is an effort to protect our people from the enemy’s scheme to starve us out by taking soybeans from North Korea at this difficult time of food shortages.” In fact, an order to plant a large volume of soybeans and to eat at least 50 kg of soybeans per person for supplementing nutrition was issued last year. Authorities mentioned that any individual must not buy or sell soybeans in markets as South Korea is interrupting the supply of soybeans by importing soybeans, which were produced for our North Korean people.
Good Friends: Center for Peace, Human Rights and Refugees
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E-mail:intnetwork@jungto.org
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North Korea Today No. 115

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


North Korea Today
115th Edition March 2008

Women in Local Markets in Chungjin City Protest En Masse
Chungjin City Allows Market Activities without Age Restrictions
Food Prices Slowly Increase In March
Police Power Has Been Strengthened
Since The Announcement of the New Judiciary Rule, the Status of Police Has Been Elevated
Police Stations in Border Areas Initiated an Extensive Crackdown on 'Ice'-related Family Affairs
Inspection along the Border Until Arrests Are Made
Shinuiju-Nakwon Road Extension Construction to Be a Burden for Residents
Losses and Injuries in Sinuiju Road Construction Accidents
Steep Competition for College Entrance in Pyongyang
Girls Prefer Pyongyang Commercial College
Woman Professor at Gimchaek University of Technology in Pyongyang Stripped Of Her Position for Speaking In South Korean Dialect
So Lucky To Live With Our Two Daughters
Sinpo Senior Center Needs Help Desperately
A Homeless Child Burned To Death While Sleeping On a Pile of Ash
Lye Instead Of Soap for Washing


Women in Local Markets in Chungjin City Protest En Masse
This past March 4th, women who had had enough of the economic hardships protested en masse in managements offices of the local markets in Chungjin City, including Soonam district. As if prearranged, many women gathered together in front of Soonam Market and other Chungjin City local markets beginning at 1pm. They hurled extreme epithets and shouted out, “We will all die like this. If you won’t let us trade, give us food” and “We won’t die alone, we will take you with us.” The police who came to quell the situation tried to persuade the women. But the women refused to budge an inch against the market manager and the police. They told the police, “They make us work and then give us a salary that, after everything has been taken away, amounts to only 500 won. It’s like not giving us anything. How are we supposed to survive? Tell us if this kind of city policy is designed to kill its citizens or not.” “This is the end of the line!” they would shout, jealously guarding their space. “Even the law is too much!” It looked as if a large-scale riot would explode if the police tried to force them to disperse.

Chungjin City Allows Market Activities without Age Restrictions
This incident was immediately elevated to the central party from the local provincial party reporting arm. The city party also held an emergency meeting to ask its apparatchiks on emergency measures to deal with the situation. On the other hand, the central party policy makers who came up with the market age restrictions policy in the first place couldn’t come up with any ideas, floundering around in search for solutions. Faced with limited options, the Chungjin City officials decided that they could no longer afford to wait and ordered all markets in the city to “open its doors so that all women can trade, regardless of their age.” Even the provincial party recommended to the central party: “Chungjin City is not able to distribute any food to the workers, leading to decreased attendance rates in workplaces. If we block market activities, it will mean not only the stoppage of work at factories but will actually lead to many people starving to death. Let us allow all women to trade in the markets as before without age restrictions.” Soon afterwards, official notices issued by the Labor Ministry were posted, allowing all market activities in Chungjin City. Currently, all markets in Chungjin City are operating normally.

Food Prices Slowly Increase In March
Rice prices are slowly increasing across the nation as we enter March. The price for 1kg of rice in Sinuiju on February 29th was 1,300 won; but it’s jumped to 1,600 won as of March 5th. In others areas, including Hamheung, rice prices are increasing from 1,300-1,400 to 1,500-1,600 won per kg.

Police Power Has Been Strengthened
The People's Safety Agency has been authorized to directly handle criminal cases without going through prosecutors since February 1, 2008. Previously, once police officers arrested suspects, the prejudication department examined facts and evidence of the case and handed over the case file to prosecutors. It was not until the completion of prosecutors' investigation of the case file that the court made an official decision upon the case. In this old judicial process, prosecutors were frequently involved in bribery due to their high influence over a case; people who have connections with prosecutors and bribed them were often found not guilty or had light punishments. Because of such cases, from now on, once police officers finish their investigation and propose a punishment for a case, the court makes a final decision in the absence of prosecutors' investigation.

Since The Announcement of the New Judiciary Rule, the Status of Police Has Been Elevated
As a new rule that authorizes the police to directly investigate a criminal case without involving prosecutors, the status of the police has been elevated. Particularly in the case of the national border area, the power of the police has become greater than ever before due to the extensive on-going 'Ice' (a kind of amphetamine) crackdown. Under the old rule, when security agents, who are bribed with money, pressure police officers to release arrested drug dealers, they could not but do so in order to save the face of security agents. However, under the new rule, police officers no longer have to consider requests from security agents. As a result, a conflict between the police and security agents is becoming more serious.

Moreover, as the new rule has given the police the authority to control the military personnel, the police are enjoying a great power which they couldn't even imagine to wield before. In the past, only the military police (경무부) had an authority to control the service personnel. Yet, in an effort to prioritize the power of local parties, police officers have been allowed to watch over soldiers as well as to regulate military vehicles. In the past, police officers used to avoid any confrontation with soldiers due to their lower status, even when they were beaten by soldiers. Now, police officers are wielding their power over army people; they arrest the service personnel, prejudicate their cases, and sentence them.

Police Stations in Border Areas Initiated an Extensive Crackdown on 'Ice'-related Family Affairs
Police stations in the national border area of North Hamgyung Province have recently initiated an extensive investigation on 'Ice'-related family affairs. Legal affairs units hitherto had not been involved in family affairs. However, due to the increasing number of 'Ice'-related illegal activities, legal affairs units no longer could overlook family affairs. As the rate of illicit drug use among adults has been increasing, domestic violence— such as family quarrels, serious wife assaults, and extramarital affairs—has been escalated as well. The nationwide spread of 'ice' was deemed to be the root-cause of this recent rise in family violence and divorce. This is the underlying reason for the decision to tighten the control over 'Ice'-related family affairs, according to authorities. Those convicted of family violence can be sentenced to Re-education and even to death penalty, depending on the severity of crimes.

Inspection along the Border Until Arrests Are Made
The security offices along the border in North Hamgyung Province decided to focus all their efforts and resources on capturing spies beginning March 1st. They will try to capture and interrogate all drug runners, smugglers, and defectors. The authorities state, “The South Korean government’s spies are recruiting defectors and sending them back with specially manufactured drugs. These drugs were made by the Korean CIA and will mentally derange anyone who takes even a small amount. It’s meant to subvert the integrity of the North Korean socialist society by creating many mental patients among the officials and people. We must be on high alert to capture all drug runners and defectors so as to guard against their dark plans.” They plan to crack down severely on the drug dealers and defectors until they capture the spies behind the whole operation. The wholesale crackdown against the anti-socialist groups in cities and counties has already started its 40 day plan. Immediately after the completion of provincial level anti-socialist groups, inspections against central party anti-socialist groups will commence. “After the provincial inspections have ended, the central party inspections will begin and include re-inspection of those who had already been convicted of crimes a year ago. This inspection effort will be stricter than before,” they said.

Shinuiju-Nakwon Road Extension Construction to Be a Burden for Residents
Sinuiju City has decided to extend the road between Sinuiju and Nakwon(락원). The city plans to have foundation work finished by the end of March and to have the entire extension project done by September 9. As this road extension construction was designed as a joint project, each unit and enterprise is in charge of assigned sections while residents are responsible for construction expenses and labor. And this city's unilateral decision generated a great deal of discontent among the residents. Despite the complaints of the inhabitants, the municipal authorities insisted that "contribute either with money or with skills." In response to the announcement, some expressed their concerns, "how much will the payment be? We can't even afford rice. We don't want to even think about how much money the city will fleece us for this new road project."

Losses and Injuries in Sinuiju Road Construction Accidents
Shortly after the Sinuiju road construction started, there were already several critical accidents which caused injuries and deaths. A young woman and two men were killed in accidents within a day in late February. There have been 17 dead people and 40 injured by March 2. The root-cause of numerous accidents lies in the negligence of safety measures; despite the fact that the construction is highly dependent on man power, no attention has been paid to the safety concerns. Meanwhile, members of Neighborhood Unit were mobilized for the first phase of the construction from February 15-29. All units and enterprises have provided labor until March 15.

Steep Competition for College Entrance in Pyongyang
During February 25th -29th, the college entrance examination was held simultaneously in major universities across the country. The examination for admission to universities in Pyongyang also started on February 25th. In particular, due to the high population of high-ranking government officials, enthusiasm for education in Pyongyang is greater than any other city. For such a strong zeal for education, the main entrances of universities were completely packed with parents on the day of examination. To pray for successful exam results, parents and relatives ranging from 5-6 members of family members for a student taking the exam to 10-20 per student—came and stood at the entrances. Those parents and relatives who were waiting for their children to finish the examination looked even more nervous than the students.

Girls Prefer Pyongyang Commercial College
Girls in Pyongyang increasingly prefer Pyongyang Commercial College while boys favor Gimchaek University of Technology or Kim Il-Sung University. For example, it coasted around $1, 500 to $2,000 two years ago to get a certificate of graduation and dispatcher (파견장) of Pyongyang Commercial College, but recently the cost has jumped up to $3,000~$5,000. An official, who has been busy trying to obtain a certificate for his daughter and just got it, says it was very difficult even though he invested a huge amount of money and exhausted his social network.

The reason why girls prefer commercial college is that after graduation they have a better chance to get a job in hotels, restaurants, utility service sectors, and store chains, where the food problem is less severe. Meanwhile, to secure the fairness in the entrance exam, the universities and colleges in Pyongyang sealed the examination answer sheets as soon as collecting them and sent to other provinces to grade them. The result of the entrance exam is scheduled to be pronounced before mid-March.

Woman Professor at Gimchaek University of Technology in Pyongyang Stripped Of Her Position for Speaking In South Korean Dialect
Recently, a woman professor at Gimchaek University of Technology was stripped of her party membership and professorship, in addition to being sentenced to five years in a reeducation center, for speaking in South Korean dialect in her classes. A similar thing happened last December at Kim Hyung-jik University of Education when another female professor was stripped of her professorship for speaking in South Korean dialect. The reason that this is happening is that the South Korean dialect is widely used in everyday life of North Korean citizens. Students, as well as teachers, use South Korean dialect when speaking on the phone or talking with friends. This is especially true for young women because the South Korean dialects have softer endings and tone than the North Korean dialects. Expressions used by the characters in South Korean movies and TV dramas are especially fashionable among the young. One female student said that she even had trouble distinguishing the difference between North and South Korean dialects because she was so used to them both. The boys are also saying that their girlfriends speak in South Korean dialect when talking with them on the phone and that they actually prefer the South Korean dialect since it’s softer and more cuddly.


So Lucky To Live With Our Two Daughters
There is a husband and wife making a living by pulling a cart together in Chungam District, Chungjin City, North Hamgyung Province. Despite the economic difficulty and the struggle of life, they said “We are very lucky because we can live with our two daughters”. During the worst recession they have not died and have not abandoned their children. They have led their life with a positive attitude believing that their daily survival is blessed though their earnings from drawing their hand-cart are not enough.

They are waiting for their passengers on the assigned place drawing their cart from early morning every day. They have their first meal quickly around 10 am and do not eat lunch until 3 pm. The next meal or snack is usually taken past 10pm.
Even though they struggle every day, they have a dream. Someday they hope to save enough food to last them for at least 10 days and send their two daughters to school. This year their two daughters dropped out of school, because their 12-year old daughter could not buy school supplies and her shoes, and their 7 year daughter was not able to pay 2 kg of rice and 2,000 won to her kindergarten every month. Their two daughters stay in the house, doing nothing and playing until their parents come home. In order to realize their dream, the husband and wife work diligently without one day’s rest.

Sinpo Senior Center Needs Help Desperately
The Sinpo senior center is a famous facility, which is located nearby Yanghwa Fisheries Enterprise in Yanghwari, Sinpo city, South Hamgyung Province. Even though it is still in good quality compared with other facilities, the reputation has gone down as the economy has entered a recession. Currently 80 people over 55 years old reside in this facility. Around 60 percent have children but their children cannot support them. This facility serves seniors “with and without physical ability to move”. They provide corn powder soup to those without teeth while giving seaweed soup and corn-rice to the seniors with fairly good teeth conditions and physical ability.

With no heating system, these aged people have been shivering in the cold winter. They put on patched-cotton-winter-clothes, not even wearing warm underwear. The coffins are stocked in the center’s garage. If one dies, the center just buries the body on mountains without any funeral services. Actually this senior center is given no assistance like other centers for the aged. Only food is provided at the minimum level at which seniors can barely survive. A middle aged woman who works at the senior center said she feels sorry for the aged people. Even though she is determined not to end up like the seniors in the center, she is not sure if she can prevent it. She said the best way to help them is to get the government assistance, but so far the government has not supported the center sufficiently. She added that this is the time to receive external help for the center.

A Homeless Child Burned To Death While Sleeping On a Pile of Ash
Last February 21st, a homeless child (Kkotjebi) was dead in Gimchaek Steel mill in Chungjin City of North Hamgyung Province while sleeping on a pile of ash. The coal ash piles in Gimchaek Steel mill have always had warmth so that many homeless children (Kkotjebis) go there to sleep. They make temporary beds by spreading vinyl film on the ash pile. On that day, a child went to sleep without knowing that a small fire was caught on its cotton winter clothes. In a flash, the child was burnt to death without any chance to go to hospital. Year after year this kind of incidents keeps occurring.

Lye Instead Of Soap for Washing
It is hard to find households that do laundry on a regular basis anywhere in North Korea because they are running very low on soap and water. Households, which have not enough food, use lye instead of soap for washing clothes because they cannot afford soap. Also, it is difficult for households with soap to clean their clothes because they do not have tap water. What people can do is to make a hole on the frozen river and raise water to drink. Naturally, poor residents cannot help but be shabbily dressed. In addition, children have lice all over their clothes and hair because of the poor sanitary condition. A woman said “I am heartbroken to see the children who cannot bathe, shiver in cold weather while sleeping wearing never-washed, dirty clothes. Who knows our pain? Only the people with those kinds of experience can understand our suffering.” She pleaded her grievous situation saying that the food problem is not all the problem they have.
A public officer in Pyongyang said “Even though my family is rather rich, my wife uses lye to wash the clothes efficiently because dirt on clothes is not well cleaned by soap washing. It is because clothes are usually washed after wearing them for at least 10 to 15 days, not after one or two days.” and added that lye has been a more common detergent for a long time.



Good Friends: Center for Peace, Human Rights and Refugees
If you need further information, please contact

Good Friends (Korea)
E-mail:intnetwork@jungto.org
Tel: 82-2-587-8996
Fax:82-2-587-8998
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E-mail:goodfriendsusa@yahoo.co.kr,
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Tel: 1-202-824-0788/1-301-455-9196(D)

North Korea Today No. 114

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

North Korea Today
114th Edition March 2008

Food Shortage Lowers The Attendance Of A Munitions Factory in Eunduk County
It Has Been a While Since Rice Has Run Out in Ryongchun County
Jaeryoung County Has a Long Face At the Food Shortage
15 People Publicly Executed In Onsung County
“The Punishment Was Too Harsh.”
This Execution Was Designed To Stop People From Crossing Illegally
Increase in Sentence For Criminals Crossing The River To China
No Age Limit For Trading If Women Bear Many Children
“Newly-Wed Couples, Don’t Have Kids!”
The Only Thing Unprotected Children Learn Is Face-Reading
Kanggye City’s Measure To Assign Work In Companies To Women Under 40
Super-Rabbits Die Due To An Epidemic
Murder in Gooseung Factory
Notorious Machunryung Hill for Frequent Car Accidents
Increasing Widows in Samhae-dong Chungjin
6 Days of Drifting in the Sea


Food Shortage Lowers The Attendance Of A Munitions Factory in Eunduk County
From the beginning of this year, the attendance of a munitions factory in Eunduk County 은덕군, North Hamkyung Province함경북도, has remarkably decreased. Managers of the factory and officers from the Labor Department even visited their houses to bring them back to work. But all they got was their answers that they could not go to work because they don’t have anything to eat. The managers of the factory rushed to request food distribution to the munitions bureau군수총국, but the munitions bureau just replied by directing them to cajole and persuade the workers to work. A majority of workers in this factory are managing to live with corn porridge. This situation even caused theft within the factory. Last February 1st, even welding machines, transformers, copper wires have been stolen from the factory. These days, the trend among workers is stealing any equipment available to sell at the risk of being punished. Meanwhile, the factory security warned that thieves will be sent to a ‘Re-education center’ 교화소.

It Has Been a While Since Rice Has Run Out in Ryongchun County
It has been a while rice has run out in Ryongchun County룡천군. There is no food allocated to farmers at this time because even food for the military has not yet been allocated. The residents at Ryongchun County prayed to the moon on the first full moon day정월대보름. One woman expressed her humble wish that all things will turn easy like the round moon. She said, “I have no choice but to pray to the moon because I don’t know how to make our living. But, I felt at ease seeing such a bright moon. Even our children did not sleep and opened the window and looked at the moon. All our neighbors went out and prayed to the moon.”

Jaeryoung County Has a Long Face At the Food Shortage
Jaeryoung County재령군 in South Hwanghae Province황해남도 has sent 1,800 MT of military food to the rear base of the forth corps headquarters제4군단후방부 from last February 5th – 9th. Food shortages caused by last year’s flood and the huge contribution to the military this time have made the food distribution situation worse for the residents in this county.

15 People Publicly Executed In Onsung County
This past February 20th, 13 women and 2 men were publicly executed on a bridge located in Joowon-gu주원구, Onsung County온성군 in North Hamgyung Province황해북도. The authorities had previously advised members of all public institutions기관, public enterprises기업소, and neighborhood units인민반 to attend the execution. On the day of the execution, attendance was checked to make sure that no one was absent. The people who were executed were accused of planning to cross over to China to receive economic help in collusion with their relatives living in China. Others were accused of helping people to cross or of providing coyote services to those who wanted to cross over.

“The Punishment Was Too Harsh.”
Onsung County residents were deeply shocked over the public executions. Some residents cried as they witnessed the women being killed. One woman said, “I hope they don’t kill women but reeducate them so that they have a chance to be reunited with their husbands and children again.” Others opined, “There will be many others who will be dying of starvation this year anyway. If they start killing off people like this, how many will be left alive in the end?” There was a collective agreement that “this execution was too severe. Their only crime was doing whatever they could to survive.” They also agreed that “this execution was a matter of bad luck for those who got killed. They were made into examples. There are others who have done far more who weren’t touched. They were killed unjustly because we have laws that change so often. Some women who were killed seemed to have difficulty closing their eyes in peace because of the injustice that they must have felt.” Many felt heartbroken as if this execution happened to a member of their family.

A woman from Onsung Town온성읍 said, “This execution has the effect of actually making people more upset. They weren’t in a good place to begin with in the first place because everyone lacked food. Now with the executions, they are more than upset. They are angry.” A man in his forties who watched the executions stated angrily, “have the people who ordered the executions and those who carried out the executions even been hungry? Just because they misuse their official positions to live well, they don’t realize just how much people are suffering. Have they thought about how desperate those people must have been that they attempted the crossings?” He concluded that those who ordered and carried out the executions were greater criminals than those who were killed.

This Execution Was Designed To Stop People From Crossing Illegally
One official said that the recent executions by shooting was planned to prevent the increasing illegal crossings. “We see people moving more busily these days. Even those who seemed well off are running around trying to survive. What people are reporting to us these days is all about how someone ran away after an argument because they had nothing to eat, how someone is planning to go to China, who demanded 20,000 won for someone to use a phone to call his relatives in China, and other things like this. And we hear of several people disappearing every day, with relatives supposedly visiting family here before crossing over. We even hear of students in graduating classes disappearing every day. This is why we carried out the executions. We wanted people to have the right frame of mind on this issue.”

Increase in Sentence For Criminals Crossing The River To China
Since March 1st, 2007, the sentence has been increased for criminals who are caught while crossing the river to defect to China or are caught and returned to North Korea while living in China. Before changing the sentence, if the crimes were not related to South Korea, the prison term was at most 3 years, but now it is 5 to 7 years.

No Age Limit For Trading If Women Bear Many Children
Because the birth rate is falling, the North Korean authority has consistently used a fecundity policy. For last 15 years there was no food distribution and the living standards of most residents have worsened, so the birth rate has continuously fallen. Thus, the government has annually issued a measure about “Increasing fecundity of women.” This year, they also announced a policy increasing birth rates, “Special treatments for women giving birth to three children.” The special treatment policy for women specifically includes, “providing women bearing many children with a prime unit of a constructing apartment, exempting them from any non-tax payments to the Democratic Women’s Union 녀맹, Neighborhood Unit and schools, giving free food and groceries at public distribution stores, and using family nursing home facilities once a year.” Besides these benefits, they can receive a priority service on the train. One of the remarkable benefits is that women bearing many children can have a privilege of trading in the market without regardless of their ages. Officially announcing the special treatments for fecundity, the government has continuously issued an order and held lectures to cover this issue.

“Newly-Wed Couples, Don’t Have Kids!”
Contrary to the North Korean authority’s recommendation, newly-wed couples are often told by the elderly not to have children. Those who have children say that it is unfair to children themselves to be born during this difficult time, because parents cannot play the role as parents to their children. Being parents, they continue to say, is same as being criminals, because they often find themselves in a position where they have to force their children to do things beyond their capacity or even unethical, unless they are wealthy enough to afford their own family. Parents from poor households ask their school-age children, especially in fall, to cut rice ears; to steal corn from neighboring farms; to collect firewood from nearby hills; to remove weeds in the individual patches of land소토지밭; to take care of younger siblings; and to do all the errands. These parents are too poor to buy a pair of shoes even during a severe winter season when their kid’s feet are swollen and numb with cold. These impoverished parents are becoming so sick and tired of their poverty-stricken lives that they don’t even feel sorry for their children anymore. Due to such painful experiences, these parents expressed their willingness to dissuade people from giving birth to children.

The Only Thing Unprotected Children Learn Is Face-Reading
The only skill unprotected children learn is to read others’ faces. Face-reading눈치 is indeed the first thing to learn for children who are left alone after their parents leave hometown or the country to make money due to strained circumstances. In fact, children who are left with their relatives, including a grandmother, an uncle, or an aunt, are more likely to be forced to learn face-reading. As these kids often find themselves as a “burden” to their relatives, they tend to become more cautious and conscious about their behavior or words. For such reasons, children learn to read others’ faces so that they do not irritate their temporary guardians or hurt their feelings.

Some of these children become Kkotjebi(homeless children)꽃제비 by giving up their “face-reading” lives under their relatives’ protection. Eventually, they learn to steal things and live their lives by selling those stolen items to sellers in the markets at low prices. Sometimes they just pick up food on the ground near street restaurants and eat it. For these children, survival is their primary goal for everyday.

In terms of the quality of life, children living with their own parents are not much different from those unprotected kids. Children from poor households do not want to go to school because of the heavy non-tax burden; they are often told to bring cash, a rabbit leather, liquor, or cigarettes as part of non-tax payments. When children tell their parents about the payments, they are rather being scolded by their parents. What is worse, if they go to school without making these payments, teachers speak critically of them or even hit them. As a result, children say that they would rather not to go to school. These poor kids try to read teachers’ faces in school while they read their parents’ faces at home. Wherever they go, they become a main target that adults vent their anger on. This is the situation where many children from impoverished households are now.

Kanggye City’s Measure To Assign Work In Companies To Women Under 40
Since last March 1st, Kanggye City강계시of Jagang Province자강도 has decided that women under 40 years old should be given a post in companies with no exception. Kanggye City has set an age limit which only allows women over 40 to trade in the market. Members of Kanggye City Party and staff of the Market Management Office have resolved to restrict women traders and instead encourage women to work at companies as a nationwide example to all people. Therefore, the City Labor Department로동부 and police stations보안서 will manage women under 40 and issue a labor certificate for them. If any woman does not follow this policy, the authority will even report the list to their husbands’ companies to strongly pressure these women to serve their duty by working in a company.

Super-Rabbits Die Due To An Epidemic
In Pyongsung평성 of South Pyongyang Province평안남도, an epidemic that began on February 6th killed off the super-rabbits that they were raising as an alternative food source. The epidemic was caused by bad handling of the musk of the super-rabbits and resulted in the deaths of all the rabbits by February 14th. This group of super-rabbits was originally bought by collecting money from all the neighboring farm collectives. The rabbit handlers are now too ashamed to go back to the members of the farm collectives to ask for more money to buy replacement rabbits.

Murder in Gooseung Factory
Last February15th around 10pm, there was a murder case in Gooseung Factory구성공장, North Pyongan Province평안북도. A factory worker found Mr. Lee clubbed to death using an iron bat. Mr. Lee was a provision directive officer공급지도원 in charge of provision of rear services as well as food supply. At the time of the attack, an account book and several hundred thousand won in the victim’s bag were stolen. Currently an investigation unit has been working on ferreting out the murderer.

Notorious Machunryung Hill for Frequent Car Accidents
Machunryung Hill마천령고개 in Hamgyung Province is notorious for frequent car accidents caused by bad road conditions. Entering the hill is more difficult in heavy summer rain and winter snow. Last February, a container truck of Pyongyang Daesung Trade Company평양대성총국 had an accident while mounting up the hill. The truck was completely destroyed, the driver and 6 passengers out of 8 were dead and two were seriously injured. The residents made one voice for the road improvement with national investment, not just to patch up carelessly through mass mobilization. Meanwhile last February 23rd the train to Kumgol금골 in Danchun City단천시 South Hamkyung Province함경남도 was turned over. One train officer standing at the railway platform and 13 passengers were dead, and about 15 persons were injured. When the Railway Authority철도성 reported this to the central party in the 'No.1 Report’1호보고 , the treatment medicines were delivered immediately for the injured people.

Increasing Widows in Samhae-dong Chungjin
Samhae-dong삼해동 in Chongam District청암구역 in Chungjin City is rather well known as a “widow area” 과부동 because of a high widow population. Every year fishermen in that area go to sea struggling with high waves. Sometimes they cannot make it back so their wives become widows. Last August, there were many ships that could not come back because they were swiped by typhoons. Among those, there was a case where all men in a family boarding the same boat were lost in the sea. It is dangerous in winter as well. Under winter weather, ships easily capsize in big waves and many crews drown. Sometimes dead bodies are hauled up in fishing nets.

6 Days of Drifting in the Sea

Last February 18th, crews at the Fisheries Enterprise수산사업소 in Hongwon County홍원군 in South Hamgkyung Province encountered an unlucky accident in the sea while catching fish. For a while, the captain and 12 crews were unable to go out for fishing because of lack of diesel oil for the boat. By collecting money for oil from each, they could at last set sail. However, the boat drifted for 6 days, because the exhaust system broke down in the middle of the sea. Finally on the night of 24th they were saved by guards of a naval squadron.

Good Friends: Center for Peace, Human Rights and Refugees
If you need further information, please contact

Good Friends (Korea)
E-mail:intnetwork@jungto.org
Tel: 82-2-587-8996
Fax:82-2-587-8998
Good Friends USA (Washington, DC)
E-mail:goodfriendsusa@yahoo.co.kr,
goodfriends.usa@gmail.com
Tel: 1-202-824-0788/1-301-455-9196(D)

North Korea Today No. 113

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

North Korea Today
113th Edition February 2008
This Is the Year When Even the Landlord’s Wife Has to Go Begging
Inspection on the Food Situation among the Farm Collective Households
My Wish Is to Eat White Rice before Dying
Fire at a State Farm in Mangyungdae Destroyed Vegetable Seeds
In Hwanghae Region, Even Industrial Electricity Supply Is Irregular
Sariwon Station Suffers from Kkotjebi
Scarcity of Sweet Potatoes in Shingye County
A Leading Secretary of Shingye County Sentenced to Re-education for Engaging in Corrupt Activities
A Vehicle Accident Carrying Songee (Korean Pine) Mushrooms belonged to the Province Trades Bureau of Hamheung
Onsung County Decides to Make a Wall of Wooden Planks with Nail
'Ice' Produced and Sold by Teens
People’s Safety Agency Distributed the Second Directive on ‘Ice’ Investigation
'Ice' Investigation Police Officers Got Their Guns Taken Away and Beaten
Teacher Receiving Money from Students as Graduation Present Was Punished
Wanted Soldiers Who Killed a Man in a Holdup

This Is the Year When Even the Landlord’s Wife Has to Go Begging
With the beginning of the New Year, no new hope is on the horizon. Instead, it’s getting tougher to live. The year 2004 was labeled as the “year when even the landlord’s wife goes to the hills.” The year 2005 was nicknamed as the “year when even a millionaire goes peddling행방.” This year, it’s “when even the landlord’s wife has to go begging.” That’s how heightened the sense of urgency is among the farm workers. There are many households who are already bereft of any food and they are saying that it will be tough for them to last through the spring. Of course, even among the farm workers, there are the foreman반장, team leader분조장, bookkeeper 부기, and chief engineer기사장 who could afford to eat white rice this past holiday. However, ordinary farm workers are having a tough time finding something to eat. Many of these ordinary farm households spent the last lunar New Years traversing the barren fields, with the children in tow, looking for fallen ears of grains to make into runny porridge. This sense of urgency over food is also striking the hearts of lower level officials and prosecutors and judges. There are those among them who say without hesitation that this year 2008 will be worse than the Arduous March years 고난의행군 . This is why this year was nicknamed as the year in which the wife of a prosperous household must go around begging for food to feed her family.

Inspection on the Food Situation among the Farm Collective Households
The North Korean authorities are undertaking a nation-wide inspection on the food shortage situation of the farm collective households in order to come up with a national contingency plan. One inspector, even while engaged in the inspections, was pessimistic about the proposed national contingency plan. His point was that, while the intention was good, the results will be a foregone conclusion. “There is no emergency food to give out to the people. Therefore, only the regional officials will be caught between a rock and a hard place when the central government inevitably orders the regional officials to come up with the necessary food.”

My Wish Is to Eat White Rice before Dying
The elderly in small rural villages are saying that their dream is to eat a bowl of white rice쌀밥, no matter how small, before they die. The elderly, because of their weak teeth, usually subsist on corn noodles or porridge. One elderly person in Baechun배천, Hwanghae Province황해도 said that, although he cannot ask his children outright because of guilt, his dreams would come true if he could eat even a single grain of white rice before he died. Unfortunately, even this small dream is unlikely to come true. Although South Hwanghae Province황해남도 is considered the bread basket of North Korea, there hasn’t been any public distribution of food of any kind. Even the food prices are the same as everywhere else. Currently in early February, rice is 1,300 won per 1 kg in Baechun배천, Ryongyeon룡연, and Oongjin County옹진군of South Hwanghae Province. Corn has gone up to 720 won per kg.

Considering the situation, a household who gets to eat every meal, whatever that meal might consist of, is considered well off. Households that eat corn-rice옥수수밥 with salted radish염장무 and a miso soup (fermented soy bean soup)된장국made with Korean cabbage and radish leaves dried in the fall are all considered well off. If the middle class is this bad, then people say that there is no saying how much worse the lower class is faring. Since everyone knows of the current hardships, the elderly man cannot possibly speak of his dream out loud.

Fire at a State Farm in Mangyungdae Destroyed Vegetable Seeds
Various kinds of vegetable seeds for planting this year have been destroyed by fire at a state farm in Manyungdae district만경대구역, Pyongyang 평양 on February 3, 2008. Investigations revealed that the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit. In addition to vegetable seeds, the fire ravaged rice and corn seeds, which were developed for an experiment by a seed research center 종자연구기관 in the National Institute of Agricultural Science농업과학원. The rice and corn seeds burned by the February 3 fire were about to be planted for experimental cultivation at the state farm, after several years of arduous research. Besides the seeds, the fire killed 180 out of 250 chickens at a henhouse. Due to a great deal of fire damage, the farm managers are afraid of possible blame and punishment for the fire. The police station보안서 and party of the district will clarify where the responsibility lies as soon as the investigations are over.

In Hwanghae Region, Even Industrial Electricity Supply Is Irregular
Counties of South Hwanghae Province, such as Oongjin County and Ryongyeon County, have ruthless difficulties with electricity supply. Like other places, these counties do not provide any electricity to ordinary households. Furthermore, companies and enterprises can use industrial electricity for only 3-5 hours a day, but even this supply is irregular. Because the electricity is not supplied during the fixed time but delivered at random hours, laborers of the companies cannot work effectively. Thus, companies cannot manufacture even basic food products that are necessary for residents.

Sariwon Station Suffers from Kkotjebi
The waiting room대합실 at the Sariwon station사리원역 in North Hwanghae Province 황해북도 is packed with Kkotjebis(homeless children)꽃제비, which causes a great deal of inconvenience to travelers. Usually, more Kkotjebis come to the station at night. They scatter to take a spot in the room and sleep there by covering themselves with pieces of plastic bags or clothes. Due to the high number of Kkotjebi, it is even hard for travelers to find a seat in the waiting room. What is worse, Kkotjebis wield their power over travelers; when travelers find a seat next to Kkotjebi they are often kicked out by Kkotjebis. Even police officers find it difficult to control Kkotjebis because there are just so many of them.

Scarcity of Sweet Potatoes in Shingye County
Shingye County신계군 in North Hwanghae Province has been famous for sweet potatoes고구마 since in the old days. Yet its fame is fading away due to the food shortage. An increasing rate of sweet potato theft by soldiers at a neighboring military base has significantly affected the harvest. As a result, farmers of Shingye County no longer plant sweet potatoes. Residents said that it was not long ago when they did sweet potato farming, but now it is hard to find a sweet potato farm in the county.

A Leading Secretary of Shingye County Sentenced to Re-education for Engaging in Corrupt Activities
A leading secretary책임비서 of Shingye County was recently sentenced to Re-education교화형 as his/her corrupt activities were uncovered. Last summer, the government provided relief goods to Shingye County due to the great flood damage. It is revealed that the secretary secretly hoarded some of these relief goods for himself/herself.

A Vehicle Accident Carrying Songee (Korean Pine) Mushrooms belonged to the Province Trades Bureau of Hamheung
Last February 9th, a container truck which belonged to the Province Trades Bureau 도무역국of Hamheung City, South Hamgyung Province함경남도, tumbled down a valley. The vehicle loading about 4 MT of pickled Songee송이(Korean pine) mushrooms with salt was heading for Rajin City라진시. At the Machunryung Hill마천령고개, the vehicle had a flat time while going downhill, lost its balance and fell flat on the gorge. The vehicle was completely destroyed and wrecked like a crumpled paper, and the mushrooms were scattered around on the valley. All of the three passengers in the truck were killed on the spot.

Besides this accident there was another vehicle accident on the same day. A bus heading for Ryongyeon County to Taetan County태탄군, South Hwanghae Province, tumbled down at Gokchangryung곡착령 Hill. In this accident 7 people were killed and 8 people injured.

Onsung County Decides to Make a Wall of Wooden Planks with Nail
Onsung County in North Hamkyung Province decided to make wooden planks with nail못판 in order to block people from crossing the Tumen River두만강. The size of each board would be 50cm on all sides. Each household belonging to the Democratic Women’s Union 녀맹 or Neighborhood Unit인민반 have been notified as such. Every two Neighborhood Unit households must produce a wooden plank; if they can’t, they have to pay 1,000 won in cash. The households who can’t afford this, especially those with only the elderly, are complaining that they can’t possibly make such a board now that they don’t even have enough money to eat. Others complain that they can’t make a wooden plank when there are no materials around. Still others say that the authorities should craft some more fundamental policies rather than trying to prevent people from crossing the river to escape. All in all, people view this latest effort as a policy to bother people rather than trying to stop the escapees on a more fundamental level. One resident said, “I don’t know who thought up such a policy but they must be trying to henpeck us all to death.” Whenever the Onsung County온성군 residents get together, they express their anxiety with a sigh: “They want us to give and give when there is nothing coming back to us. We don’t know how we are to live in the future.”

'Ice' Produced and Sold by Teens
In Hamheung city함흥시 of South Hamgyung Province, the Anti-Socialist Conscience Investigation Patrol비사회주의그루빠 검열조 caught ‘Ice'얼음(빙두) (a kind of amphetamine) - producing and selling teens. The teens are 6th grade students in Sapo middle school사포중학교 in Hamheung , and has made ‘Ice’ under their parents’ cooperation. Even the patrol cannot repress their astonishment. Because the teenagers were too young to be punished as legal criminals, they were simply disciplined. Instead, the teacher in charge of them was fired and sent to the farm as a farmer. Meanwhile, an administrative staff in Hamhung College of Chemical Industry 함흥화학공업대학 were also caught during the investigation, who produced and sold ‘Ice’ to an ‘Ice’ smuggler in Sinuiju신의주 for the last three years.

People’s Safety Agency Distributed the Second Directive on ‘Ice’ Investigation
People’s Safety Agency인민보안성issued a directive on ‘Ice’ censorship to Police Stations in Hamheung City and Heungnam City 흥남시. It directs each station to investigate and arrest ‘Ice’ producers and smugglers again within this first quarter that were not detected in the Investigation of the Anti-Socialist Activities. The Safety Agency insist to investigate and deter a crime properly and to eradicate ‘Ice’ smuggling around the national boarder area. In addition, the agency ordered to enhance ‘Ice’ prevention education in various ways by holding explanation lectures and meetings. The agency asserted that fact that “the ‘Ice’ crime blurs the lens on our life and destroys the mental conditions like poison” should be specially pointed out during the residents’ education.

'Ice' Investigation Police Officers Got Their Guns Taken Away and Beaten
Last February 8th, some Police Officers보안원 had their guns taken away and were beaten during an ‘Ice’ investigation in Sunam District수남지역 of Chungjin City청진시 in North Hamgyung Province. Around at 10pm, three Police Officers in charge of the ‘Ice’ investigation searched two young men’s bodies on Sunam Bridge수남다리. They found about 50g of ‘Ice’ in the body search. Then suddenly the young men attacked the Police Officers and a violent fight broke out in the middle of the night. Despite the fact that the Public Officers outnumbered, they got beaten and robbed of their guns. The young men seemed to have superior fighting skills. They threw the guns into the river and ran away. As the news spread out to the residents that fully-armed Police Officers failed to arrest the criminals and even got their guns robbed and beaten, they became a mockery and were called ‘pitiful fools’.

Teacher Receiving Money from Students as Graduation Present Was Punished
A teacher of Sunam middle school수남중학교 in Sunam District of Chungjin City was punished on charge of getting money from the students in commemoration of their graduation. Following the lead of the representative of the parents’ committee, students collected 15,000 won each and gave a color television and a bicycle to their teacher as presents. when this was reported to the City Party시당,the teacher was called in by the Organization and Guidance Department of City Party시당조직부 and had to write a letter of self-criticism for a week and received a 6-month party punishment. The teacher refunded the presents and gave back 15,000 won to the parents of the students. About this case, one teacher said “it is normal that teachers get great help when their students graduate. The teacher seems to have bad luck”.

Wanted Soldiers Who Killed a Man in a Holdup
Last February 5th, a midnight holdup occurred on a road around a middle school of Tongcheon-town통천읍, Tongcheon County 통천군, Kangwon Province강원도. When Mr. Lee, a laborer of the fisheries cooperative수산협동, was going home, three soldiers beat him and robbed his bicycle and 350 won which was all he had in his pockets. The robbing soldiers dumped the victim on the school’s flower garden and ran away. Mr. Lee was found the next morning around 8 o’clock. He barely described police officers investigating the accident that three soldiers beat and robbed him and died before he was moved to a hospital. The autopsy found that his skull was broken and he died because of the burst of his pancreas. Doctors said that it was a miracle for him to survive until the next morning. The police station started an immediate investigation and issued an order of execution by shooting with no exception if they are arrested.
Good Friends: Center for Peace, Human Rights and Refugees
If you need further information, please contact

Good Friends (Korea)
E-mail:intnetwork@jungto.org
Tel: 82-2-587-8996
Fax:82-2-587-8998

Good Friends USA (Washington, DC)
E-mail:goodfriendsusa@yahoo.co.kr,
goodfriends.usa@gmail.com
Tel: 1-202-824-0788/1-301-455-9196(D)
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