GoodFriends: Research Institute For North Korean Society

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North Korea Today No.283

RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR NORTH KOREAN SOCIETY
[Weekely Newsletter] No.283 June 2009
[“Good Friends” desires to help the North Korean people through humanistic point of view, and publishes “North Korea Today” describing the way the North Korean people live as real as possible. We at Good Friends also hope to be a bridge between the North Korean people and the world.]
[Hot Topics]
Pyongsung Wholesale Market to Be Closed
Rice Difficult to Come by in the Pyongyang Market

[Food]
Pyungyang Central District Anticipating Disruptions In Food Distribution Starting July
Workers Of Pyungyang Fuel Distribution and Production Factory and Their Families Eat Porridge Despite Preferential Food Rations
About 600 Party Members In Danchun City Are Free From Hunger

[Economy]
Cold Weather Damage In Several Mountainous Regions Of The Northern Hamgyong Province
The Completion of The First Transportation of Ammonium Nitrate Fertilizer in Hoeryung

[Politics]
“There Must Be No Defectors to China” during 150-Day Battle
The 4 Parties in Danchun City are Indifferent towards the Current Regional Issues

[Society]
Eunsan County Illegal Goldmine, Nobody Cares Even When Miners Die
Residents of Sinuiju Complain over the Issue of Apartment Windows
“It is very hard to understand why we have to uninstall after spending so much money on installation”
Senior Veterans Mobilized for Disciplinary Teams

[Women/Children/Education]
Rice Seeding on 150 pyong of Farmland was Assigned to Every Member of Democratic Women’s Union in Chungjn City
Members of Democratic Women’s Union in Chungjn Mobilized in Making Graveyards

[Accidents]
Diesel Sellers Robbed by the 9th Corps Soldiers Left Nearby Farm Damaged

[Investigative Report]
[Correspondence from Pyongyang]
Production of Six Million Ton, Goal of 150-Day Battle

________________________________________________________
[Hot Topics]
Pyongsung Wholesale Market to Be Closed
The Central Party has decided to close the Pyongsung Market. Since January, North Korean authorities have been trying to close all the general markets and convert them to farmers’ markets. Due to considerable rural opposition to the policy, they decided to delay these transitions by six months. Currently, The Pyongsung Market is the largest wholesale market in the nation. The decision to close the market was made on the assumption that if the largest market were to be closed, other markets around the country would begin to decline. In the meantime, the city of Pyongsung has been reviewing plans to manage smaller markets in each of the city’s districts. This plan includes stricter restrictions on age eligibility for peddling permits. Additionally, Peddling permits will now be granted to the three poorest families from each neighborhood unit.

Rice Difficult to Come by in the Pyongyang Market
Due to restrictions forbidding the sale of rice, it is now extremely difficult to find the grain available anywhere in Pyongyang Market. When peddlers are caught selling rice, their rice is confiscated, so no peddlers dare display it. The sale of corn and crushed maize are also currently forbidden, but other cereal grains, such as soybean and millet, can be sold. Consequently, peddlers have resorted to selling grain in secret and price of rice has begun to fall. Last month in the Dangsang Dong Market of Mangyongdae District, rice sold for 2,100 NK Won per Kg, by early June it was selling for 1,700 NK Won. According to one party leader, there are three reasons why the price of rice is not going up during the month of June, which is generally considered a difficult month, like it did last year. First of all, government measures against the sale of rice are much more strictly enforced now than they have been in the past. Secondly, the movement of peddlers and their goods was severely restricted during the 150-day battle and they had little time to engage in commerce. Lastly most citizens have already spent all their savings over the difficult spring months, leaving them with far less purchasing power.

[Food]
Pyungyang Central District Anticipating Disruptions In Food Distribution Starting July
Up until June, the Pyungyang central district had distributed 15 days worth of food rations. The food rations are usually distributed twice a year, but due to recent food shortages, only the first half was delivered. It is difficult to make any forecasts for July; however, in the worst-case scenario, the city rationing office advised the people to provide for themselves starting in the second half of the year. An associate of the rationing office of the government informed that even if food is provided there is a great likelihood that it will be potatoes instead of rice, corn or flour. In the meantime, other neighboring districts have not received any food rations since months earlier than July. Ham Mi-kyung (38) who lives in Sunkyo District stated, “Residents of the central district store at least 6-months worth of food, but other districts are not that well off. Hence, the rations intended for the residents of the central district should be redistributed to the residents in the other districts.”

Workers Of Pyungyang Fuel Distribution and Production Factory and Their Families Eat Porridge Despite Preferential Food Rations
In Hwachung-dong, Seungho district in Pyungyang City, there is a fuel distribution and production factory under the guidance of the supporting office to the Bureau for Fuel Oil Control. Due to its association with the military unit, as well as to the fact that about 95% of its workers are discharged soldiers placed in their positions through personal connections, every month each worker receives full rations and an additional 15 days worth of rations are provided to their families. These rations are comprised of 40% rice and of 60% whole corn. However, despite the regularity and relative abundance of the rations the workers and their families barely have enough to eat. Due to the general poverty and low population in and around the area businesses are failing and the markets are weak. Residents usually raise domestic animals such as pigs and rabbits to provide for their families. Due to these circumstances, there are many households that eat only porridge. Suh Mi-sook (40s) said that they are more fortunate than workers in other factories, but their food situation is still not good enough because they are prohibited from engaging in business or side jobs. Suh added, “Because we received the food rations, we must abide by the strict regulations and work that is on a par with the army. My husband is exhausted because he only eats watery porridge for one or two meals a day when he needs to eat well.”

About 600 Party Members In Danchun City Are Free From Hunger
There are about 600 members in the four party committees at Danchun city in South Hamgyong Province. They include the City, Construction United, Mining and Railroad Parties, and its members range from the secretary to the officials in the Organization, Propaganda, and the Officials’ Departments. The members, along with police officers and security agents, belong to the upper class and are free of hunger. Since the City Party has the authority to regulate industry, agriculture, and fisheries in the region, priority in food distribution is given to the members of the Party. For example, the members receive food like oil, liquor, and soy sauce from the factories, varieties of fish from fishers, and grain from farmers. Likewise the officials of Construction United Party also take advantage of their positions and place themselves at top priority in receiving food supplies. So the officials are said to be the only people who survive the hunger. The remaining 60% of the population of Danchun city, however, survive on grass roots and tree bark, with some being fortunate enough to eat corn soup and noodles. Ordinary people complain about the officials’ selfishness saying, “The officials pursue their own interests. None of the officials care about the ordinary people nor are they sympathetic to our hunger.”
[Economy]
Cold Weather Damage In Several Mountainous Regions Of The Northern Hamgyong Province
On May 6 and 7, cold weather heavily damaged many crops in several mountainous regions including Leechun, Chulwon, and Hoeyang in Kangwon Province. The newly planted cornfields suffered much damage from the inclement weather. Some fields were converted to planting tofu beans because the corn buds did not sprout. Some areas in Northern Hamgyong Province were damaged by hail. Farms that had planted the corn in nutrition-rich complexes were barely affected, but the newly established farms and small private lands were damaged the most because the cold spring weather caused the seeds in the ground to freeze or rot. The farmers who had privately farmed in steep mountains found that almost 70%-80% of their corn crops did not sprout forcing the farmers to plant tofu beans instead.

The Completion of The First Transportation of Ammonium Nitrate Fertilizer in Hoeryung
On the evening of May 31, Hoeryung city completed the first transportation of 1,250 tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer from the Heungnam Fertilizer Factory. On June 1, the fertilizer was distributed to individual farms in Hoeryung, and each farm received a bag of 50 kilograms of the fertilizer. During the distribution, the police conducted nightly patrols to prevent illegal leakage of the fertilizer. The farmers were glad that they were finally receiving the fertilizer; however, they returned to their farms concerned that the amount they received might not be enough.

[Politics]
“There Must Be No Defectors to China” during 150-Day Battle
On May 23rd, the officers of the Central Party went to Hoeryong City and instructed the people to reinforce the organizational control in a meeting where the officers of the City Party and Democratic Women’s Union (DWU) were gathered. The officers emphasized that the National Border Area will have to be especially careful so that there must be no defectors escaping to China during the 150-Day Battle. They said, “The ideological work must be reinforced during the 150 Day Battle so that women near the border area will not fantasize about China." Furthermore, they warned that officers of the regional district offices, police officers, security agents, the Secretary of the Factory Party and the members of the DWU, would be strictly reprimanded, punished or dismissed from the party if any defectors escape.

The 4 Parties in Danchun City are Indifferent towards the Current Regional Issues
There are four Parties in Danchun City, South Hamgyong Province, including the City Party, Danchun Construction United Party, Danchun Mining United Party, and Danchun Railroad Sector Party. All three Parties other than the City Party belong to the Central Party or the Department of Railways. These Parties have been criticized for not attending to the current regional issues and only focusing on pleasing their superiors. For example, in the District of Danchun, there is a lot of focus on mining and construction‐related industries. Therefore it is faced with more issues than other districts including environmental, construction, road, management of urban forest resources, and drinking water problems. These issues require intimate cooperation between the respective organizations, but in reality, such cooperation is not feasible. An official of the City Party said, “When an issue arises, people only assert their own opinions without making efforts to reach consensus because representatives of the parties do not want their party to be burdened with special taxes. As a result, nothing is accomplished. There are many problems such as security, construction, environmental, and hygiene problems, but only the troubled City Party is plagued with the problems, whereas the other parties show indifference. People remain as mere spectators to others’ problems; there are no changes being made and thus are falling behind. The City Party takes the initiative in resolving issues, but is, in fact, incapable of doing anything because of the lack of power and money.”

[Society]
Eunsan County Illegal Goldmine, Nobody Cares Even When Miners Die
There are many goldmines in Eunsan County. While most of the goldmines are dominated by the military, people with money are entering the closed mines and excavating gold. Before 1945, during the Japanese colonial period there were many vertical mines in Eunsan. The lengths of some vertical mines including the inclined shaft were approximately 250 to 500 meters. However, the mines were closed after Korea’s liberation from Japan because too many people lost their lives while excavating gold in the mines. Beginning in 2002, people with money started to enter the mines with the protection of Mine Security agents. They looked for people who have no family or relatives, wandering around looking for moneymaking opportunities, and hired 10 to 15 people at a time to let them work in the goldmines. All the miners received were 6kg of ore with gold and three meals a day.
It is a very lucrative business because people can make 10 to 15 thousand North Korean Won a day if they grind the ore and extract gold from the ore. However, their job is a very dangerous one because the pits of the mines were used before the liberation many years ago. Therefore, the safety is a vulnerable situation. Miners have to enter the mine and carry 40kg of gold ore in a backpack more than 10 times a day. Accidents involving death and injury occur frequently while transporting gold ore due to faulty equipment. Tunnels collapse from time to time. Usually about 10 to 15 people get involved in accidents in the span of a month. When accidents happen, the mine owners don’t bother to look for the miners trapped in the collapsed mine. The miners are people that come from various places with no personal references. So, they don’t bother to do anything because they can neither locate the family nor recover the dead bodies. Miners complain a lot, saying they are more viciously exploited than miners were during the Japanese colonial times. The police authorities in Eunsan are cracking down on those who operate illegal mines because of the high number of causalities, but did not avail. Meanwhile, the reported numbers of illegal mines, which are operating this way, have been found to be approximately 35 cases.

Residents of Sinuiju Complain over the Issue of Apartment Windows
The residents living near the number one street in Sinuiju North Pyongan Province are not very happy these days. This is because of the apartment windows. They have removed nyumchang (window frame made of aluminum), sujichang (plastic frame), and nahmoochang (wood frame), in the following order. Now, they are ordering to change the windows back to nyumchang, which fit the specifications. On May 22nd, another order was issued asking for the removal of the nyumchang again. The order was to dismantle them by the 26th. The residents are frustrated with this inconsistent changing policy. People say it is not easy to remove or put in a new window frame because it costs too much money. They followed the orders from the Party and replaced the frames numerous times and they are being told to do it again. So, they have complained and are asking which order is the right order to follow. The authorities issued a quick bluff in the case because of the bursting amount of complaints by saying, "Do not express any opinions. We will investigate and deport those who complain." They said they would hold an all-resident-meeting at 6 in the morning, and told residents that those who have not removed frames by the deadline will be evicted by force. Many people repressed their complaints and had begun dismantling the nyumchang.
The reason for this inconsistent changing policy is due to the urban beatification project. It is the same in Pyongyang, but the border region and the number one street catches the eyes of visitors from outside. The windows made in the past were big enough to reveal everything inside. The windows with broken glasses were not repaired well so they were covered with vinyl. Therefore, the urban landscaping of the city was often harmed. Because of this, the authorities gave orders to make the windows smaller. In each region, the window dimensions were given out roughly. So, there were problems of misfits between the nyumchang frame, wood frame and the existing frame products. As such, another order was issued to fix it. So far, this issue was raised several times, but it was not pushed through because it costs too much money. Recently, it is being strongly executed again.

“It is very hard to understand why we have to uninstall after spending so much money on installation”
Kang Ok-Lim, (40) sells stuff at the market sales booth located at Namsong Market, Sinuiju. She expressed her dumbfounded feelings on the order of dismantling the window frame. Mrs. Kang said “I feel very dumbfounded spending money on uninstalling window frames after spending so much money on installation”. Even though she faces many hardships in life, she paid 120 dollars on aluminum window frames and now uninstalling them makes her cry bitter tears. Ko Young-Hee (30s) who live at necessitous quarters, South Sinuiju also has expressed the feeling of dumbfounded. Mrs. Ko said “A while ago, they said not installing the window frame made it unqualified to live at the apartments. So, I installed wooden window frames by collecting money bit by bit. Now they are telling us to uninstall and I find it very exorbitant. I have eaten less to save in order to install window frames as they told me it’s a must, and now they are making us uninstall everything. How can this happen?” She said she doesn’t know why they have to bother the apartment residents so much. Some people raised a hubbub saying, “I will not uninstall my windows even if I may die until they give me the money to do it”.

Senior Veterans Mobilized for Disciplinary Teams
As the 150-day Battle goes on, the street control has started. Throughout the nation, police officers are controlling the street by questioning random people and cracking down alley sellers. Cracking down alley sellers did not stop them from selling their products, which resulted in mobilizing senior veterans who live nearby to form a squad called ‘senior veteran disciplinary team’. The reason behind forming the ‘senior veteran disciplinary team’ is they think if senior veterans talk, younger people will at least pretend to listen. However, most of members from the senior veteran disciplinary team are at a ripe age and it is hard for them to even stand properly. They frequently start dozing off under the shade of a tree shortly after standing for a while. When the police officers patrol around and see this and try to reproach, the senior veterans reply saying, “What can I do. Even my wife goes out to sell on the street when we lack food at home. How can I possibly stop them?” This makes the police officers feel disheartened.


[Women/Children/Education]
Rice Seeding on 150 pyong of Farmland was Assigned to Every Member of Democratic Women’s Union in Chungjn City
In Chungnam Dong, Sunam District, Chungjn City, every member in the lower braches of the Democratic Women’s Union (DWU) was assigned to do rice seeding on 150 pyong (0.1215 acre) of farmland. Typically, they only work in the morning, but had no choice but to work till 2 p.m. because of new 150-pyong assignment. Those who want to go out to peddle in the afternoon intentionally do the work very loosely in an attempt to finish early. Although higher officers said, “You cannot deceive farm work and must do good work in rice seeding,” the situation has not improved at all. Rich women can get away from farm work by bribing officers with 3,000 North Korean Won. Even moms with suckling babies have to work in the farm if they don’t have money. Those babies have to spend time at a daycare center while their mom works in the farm. Moms have to come to the daycare center from time to time to feed their babies. Even elderly women over the age of 65, who are typically exempt from labor mobilization, have to work once a week. If they don’t want to work in the farm, they have to buy 1,500 NK Won worth of candies or cookies. On the other hand, the Labor department in Sunam District will have stricter guidance for women to avoid leaving them out from organized living patterns.

Members of Democratic Women’s Union in Chungjn Mobilized in Making Graveyards
Members of the Democratic Women’s Union in Chungjin were mobilized not only for farm work but also for making graveyards. Because there is no more space in Pyongyang National Cemetery, people outside Pyongyang will be buried in their hometown. In Chungjin, it has been decided that graveyards will be made in the leveled mountain in Nongpo. Therefore, members in DWU were mobilized from 6’o clock in the morning with lunch boxes. Most of them brought maize porridge as their lunch with a small number of exceptions bringing a steamed corn meal. They had to do foundation work with gravel till 8 p.m. No one can escape from the mobilization because it became part of 150-Day Battle. To get exempt from mobilization, they have to pay 3,000 NK Won. However, not too many women can prepare that much money. Jeong, Myung-Hee (pseudonym, 30s) said, “It seems that members in DWU were treated much more harshly and strictly than those with jobs. Because of this unfair treatment, most women want to get some kind of low-paying jobs.”

[Accidents]
Diesel Sellers Robbed by the 9th Corps Soldiers Left Nearby Farm Damaged
In the beginning of last June, an oil flood occurred in Yanghwa‐ri, Shinpo City of South Hamgyong Province, seriously damaging the nearby farm fields. The accident happened when oil traders ran into soldier robbers on their way to Yanghwa‐ri Fisheries Enterprise to sell oil. Four oil traders were going to Yanghwa‐ri Fisheries Enterprise with a 23‐ton, full tank of diesel. However, while passing through the Yanghwa‐ri farm 1-ban district road, soldiers appeared out of nowhere, forced the truck to come to a halt, and demanded for 50kgs of diesel. When the oil sellers refused, the soldiers forced the driver and traders out of the truck and beat them violently one by one. They towed the tanker to the threshing floor of Yanghwa‐ri 6‐ban, and stole 6 tons of diesels by filling up every water bucket in sight. Then, the soldiers parked the truck and fled, leaving the tanker at the Naval Division Border Patrol Area located at Yanghwa‐ri 5‐ban. While running away, they left the pump on, resulting in about 17‐tons of diesel to flow into the nearby paddy fields; about 13 units of the paddy fields were damaged by being covered in oil. Along with the oil, the burglars also got away with the truck’s tires and other automobile accessories. The oil sellers reported the incident to the police, but officers were slow to act upon hearing that soldiers were involved. Although the thieves were identified as students from the 9th Corps automobile training school, no actions were pursued following this discovery. The victims were told that the investigation would continue so they should repair the tanker quickly and go back to Hyesan. According to the residents, the soldier robbers who ran away with stolen diesel gave 3 of the 6 tons of oil to the police station.

[Investigative Report]
[Correspondence from Pyongyang]
Production of Six Million Ton, Goal of 150-Day Battle
It has been one month since the 150-day battle started. On June 6th, which is the usual day for residents’ monthly general meetings, an extended general meeting of the primary party was called. This meeting featured enthusiastic members of Korean Farm Labor Union as instructed by the superior party. The meeting was guided by the county party secretary and was attended by the chairman of county cooperative management and neighboring li party secretaries. The meeting was held at the county conference hall and all the empty seats were filled with county workers. Everyone in attendance wore a solemn expression. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss and pass a resolution that called for the production of six million tons of grain, as demanded by the party. The hope was that the meeting would provide workers with ideological motivation to encourage farm workers to increase their efforts for the next farm battle. For most of the meeting, not a single word of counter-criticism was uttered at the meeting and the entire time was spent repeating standard and motivational slogans. At one point though, the entire meeting was brought to a stunned silence by blunt statements made by a party member and veteran:

“If our farms are to achieve the goal of six million tons of grains, they would need to produce about 4.5 tons per Jungbo. That might have been possible during the 1970s, or even in the middle of 1980s, but since then haven’t production levels fallen to no more than 1.5 or 2 tons per Jungbo? Isn’t the problem obvious? Everyone knows that the lack of fertilizer is the problem. Why does everyone try to find other causes? Our farms have been fertilized with manure for the last ten years. We have spent a lot of manpower and money. Did it make a difference? Manpower has not been the problem and this year is no different. Everyone talks about, ‘Farmyard manure, farmyard manure, farmyard manure.’ Where are we supposed to get good farmyard manure? Isn’t that true that this county (Gangnam County, Pyongyang) does not any? The mountains don’t even have any trees left. Is it really surprising that the dirt from the mountains is no better than the dirt from the fields? Human excrement is limited. Dirt dredged from the bottom of the river would be good, but it is far away and we would need fuel we don’t have to get it here. We would need at least several hundreds of Jajooho truckloads. ”

The county party secretary anxiously interjected, saying:

“Comrade, what you are saying is something everyone in this meeting already knows. What good is pointing out something we already know? The challenge is to find a solution. Instead of complaining, give us some solutions.”

I could not stand it any longer. I got up and said, “I have an alternative solution; Fertilizer issues should be addressed by the farming system. Shouldn’t we be helping the farmers? Farmers cannot solve these problems by themselves, can they? What happened to all the ammoniated fertilizers that were so popular in 1970s? If we can’t solve this problem, how can we expect the farmers to solve it by themselves?”

I added, “Comrade, what you have said is already known by the Party and the Cabinet, but the state is facing difficult times. That is why this problem remains. As you know, there is 150-day battle going on. If everything was going well, why would there be the need for a 150-day battle? If you are aware of the problem, why do you say things like this, as a member of the party? Please think about what is happening and stop complaining. Don’t we need to face these difficulties together? We should remain optimistic with all our hearts about our future, because if we do the gates to a strong and prosperous nation will be opened in 2012.”

Some in the audience applauded and cheered, “Yes, way to go!” Even though I had spoken, I am not really sure what the solutions to the problems we face are. Who can possibly solve this problem? Everyone knows there is no answer, so they just try to ignore it. This is the way it has been and, barring a miracle or unforeseen events, this is the way it will be for a long time to come.

North Korea Today No.282

RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR NORTH KOREAN SOCIETY
http://www.goodfriends.or.kr
[Weekely Newsletter] No.282 June 2009
[“Good Friends” desires to help the North Korean people through humanistic point of view, and publishes “North Korea Today” describing the way the North Korean people live as real as possible. We at Good Friends also hope to be a bridge between the North Korean people and the world.]
[Hot Topics]
An Elderly Man is Arrested is for Saying “Can Anyone Open the Gates To a Strong Nation?”
An Elderly Resident is Arrested for Saying “Things Were Not Even This Bad During Japanese Rule”
Three Female Peddlers Arrested for Suggesting That “Ours Is Party of Empty Talk”

[Food]
At 4.25 Training Center, Delay in Food Supply for July Predicted

[Economy]
Kangwon Province, Sold Plowing Fuel to Purchase Food
Members of the Democratic Women’s Union Fulfill Their Rice Seedling Task to Work at Their Own Businesses

[Politics]
In Ham-heung , Cracking Down on Drugs through September 9

[Society]
Daily Increase in Crimes Committed by Female Robbers
“Solving the Nation’s Food Crisis, Is It the Job Only for the Poor?”
A Repercussion Spreads in Haeju City as a Veteran Dies of Hunger

[Women/Children/Education]
Mobilized University Students Commute from School to Farms Due to Lack of Food
Middle School Students Bring Lunch

[Accidents]
All Passengers Killed on Ship Headed to South Korea by Cannon Fire
Kangsun Chunlima Steel Enterprise, Safety Accidents Happened
[Commentary]
“Reactionary Words” Needs to Be Clearly Defined
________________________________________________________
[Hot Topics]
An Elderly Man is Arrested is for Saying “Can Anyone Open the Gates To a Strong Nation?”
Kim Nam-joong (70’s), an elderly resident of Haeandong, Danchun City in South Hamgyong Province, spends much of his time socializing and talking with ten of his close friends. When they get together, these men talk about a wide range of subjects, and often the conversation turns to the difficulties they now face in their lives. Early last May, one member claimed to the group: “I hear the gates to a strong nation will be opened in 2012 and our nation will become as wealthy as any other nation.” To this, Mr. Kim responded, “I would like to see the gates open just a little bit, if not open fully.” He then continued, “Do we deserve our present lives? Can anyone open the gates to a strong nation?” The following day, he was arrested and taken into police custody. The charge brought against him was that he had made too many complaints about the current situation and had profaned Great Leader and the Fatherland. His neighbors discussed the situation quietly amongst themselves. “What can they do with an elderly man? They could have ignored such a small offense. They may be looking for a bribe, because it was not a significant offense. Even healthy men suffer greatly when they are taken to the police station. I wonder if this older man will make it all right.” Everyone in the community was talking about the incident. A party leader in Pyongyang responded, “When the Social Security Department changed to the People’s Police Department, they resumed the enforcement of ‘word controls.’ The Central Party is aware of what is said about the current dire situation at people’s private gatherings. Little complaints are considered the seed of social instability. This is why they started cracking down on people.”

An Elderly Resident is Arrested for Saying “Things Were Not Even This Bad During Japanese Rule”
Han Duk-soo (70s), an elderly resident of Hamheung City, South Hamgyong Province, was taken into police custody on May 17th of this year and released three days later. On the way home from a trip to the market in Hoesang District with his neighbors, Han took a break to have an alcoholic beverage. While drinking with these neighbors, he began to complain about his present situation with a sigh. Later, he reported, “I generally can’t ever remember what I have said, especially when I’ve been drinking, but the police kept asking confess what it was I had said. For this reason, I couldn’t stand being held in the police office.” That day, he had gathered with several of the village’s elderly residents and had a long discussion about many things, including how difficult it now was to make a living. Mr. Han guessed that me must have said something like, “During the Arduous March, many people died in this part of Hamheung and, for some reason, people continue to die. Even collecting grassroots and tree bark requires making a long trip into the mountain. Old people like me would die on the road. If our children were relatively well off, it would be alright, but even they have nothing. I think the best solution would be for me to die as early as possible for the sake of our children. Even though the Party now claims times are good, things were not even this bad as this during Japanese rule.” His eldest son, Kyung-bo (50s), responded angrily, “Which part of my father’s statement profaned the Great Leader? Is saying, ‘things were not this bad during Japanese rule’ considered profaning Great Leader? He is already a weak old man and the police have caused him to suffer a great deal.”

Three Female Peddlers Arrested for Suggesting That “Ours Is Party of Empty Talk”
On May 11, food peddlers at Soonam, Chungnyun and Gongwon markets of Chungjin City, North Hamgyong Province paid a significant price for talking about the secret letter of a Party Member. After Lee Kyung-ok (pseudonym, 40s) mentioned the letter to two other peddlers, she became the subject of an investigation by the security agency. When asked what she had been speaking about by the security agents, she replied, “We spoke about a lot of different things. We didn’t talk about anything in particular.” She continued, “They claim that ours is the Party without empty talk. They mean it when they say it, but I do not believe that is true. They talk about opening the gates to a strong nation, but I am not convinced the gates will be opened. I don’t see it. The way things are going, I do not believe we can become a strong nation. As usual, our Party will be the party of empty talk.” She explained, “Apparently, word of this statement reached the security agency. Three of us were interrogated for two full days at the security agency. I do not know who the informant was. We were charged with using ‘Reactionary Words’, but they could not prove anything, so they released us on the afternoon of May 13. We received instructions that we should be careful with our words and behavior in the future.“

[Food]
At 4.25 Training Center, Delay in Food Supply for July Predicted
Regiments and battalions of 4.25 Training Center, stationed at Seoheung and Pyongsan Counties, North Hwanghae Province received word of food shortages beginning in July due to transportation problems. This news caused quite a stir among the soldiers. Military authorities of Pyongsan County Artillery Regiment and New Recruits Training Center announced that current food supplies will last through June. After Support Bureau received reports on the current situation, they assured that they would pay more attention to transportation and processing functions so as not to cause any delay. They emphasized, however, that military leaders assume responsibility for achieving a good harvest. They also sent instructions on securing milking goats and supplying goat’s milk to the soldiers as meals. They cited an example of an engineer regiment corps in 4.25 Training Center. This regiment secured eight milking goats with very effective results. There were many cases of severe malnutrition in other regiments, but almost none in this one. As a result, the goat milk movement is proceeding with vigor.

[Economy]
Kangwon Province, Sold Plowing Fuel to Purchase Food
About 70% of the plowing has been completed at farms in Kangwon Province. Many farms including Anmyun County, Pyungkang County, and Cheolwon County could not utilize their machines due to fuel shortages. Since they did not even have enough laboring bulls to pull the ploughs, they had to receive help from the soldiers stationed in nearby areas. The Farm Resource Provision Unit supplied the fuel after the plowing was completed, so the farmers sold part of their fuel supplies to feed the soldiers.

Members of the Democratic Women’s Union Fulfill Their Rice Seedling Task to Work at Their Own Businesses
Members of the Democratic Women’s Union (DWU) work hard to reach their daily goals at the farm mobilization project. In order to spend time operating their own businesses, they have to complete their assignments within the terms of their contracts. On May 22 of last year, members of the DWU from Chungnam Town Office, Soonam District spent their mornings working on rice planting, organizing seed plots and bundling rice plants. Han Keumshim (40s) explained the daily hardship by stating, “We have to finish the given task to work at our own businesses. 150 days seem like a long way to go, and rumor has it that there will be an additional 100-Day Combat right after the 150-Day Combat. It is only getting worse.” There are some women who do not participate in the farm mobilization project. They only have to pay a daily fine of about 3,000 Won to the elementary organization. Some women choose not to physically join the farm mobilization, but have instead agreed to prepare meals for the workingwomen.
Kim Mi-ok (40s), a member of DWU from Chungnam Town Office, said she pays a fine rather than work thanks to her husband who works at a foreign currency trading business.

[Politics]
In Ham-heung , Cracking Down on Drugs through September 9
City of Ham-heung in South Hamgyong province is in an intensive crack down on drugs through September 9, 2009, which is the anniversary of the date North Korea was founded. Numerous drug squad lines stretch to and from the Ham-heung station to conduct bag and body searches. The drug squads in each region interrogate, search the houses, and arrest drug trafficking suspects. The current anti-drug operations center on juvenile addiction because the mental disease caused by the addiction is believed to decrease the supply of labor. Efficacy of the drug war in some regions, however, comes under question, because the anti-drug squads neglect their duties or make a show of the anti-drug operations. Kim, Sang-ho (pseudonym, 40s) said, “Police, who might confiscate 300g of drugs with the help of an informant, for instance, pay off the informant with one-third of the drugs as a rebate. No region of the city may be completely immune from this corruption.”

[Society]
Daily Increase in Crimes Committed by Female Robbers
Number of robberies committed by women is steadily increasing all across the county. In the case of Hoeryong City in North Hamgyong Province, from February to May, the police apprehended suspects from 20 robbery cases, and 15 of which involved female suspects. In Wonsan City, Kangwon Province, even a group of female bandits was caught. One official from Wonsan commented, “Because they are not allowed to engage in commerce, young women do not hesitate to rob or assault to get money. When you listen to these women who got caught, they had been emboldened by ‘nothing to loose’ attitude that comes from seeing their husbands and parents so weak from starvation and watching their children so malnourished that their eyes get bigger. Most of the female crimes are the phenomenon which comes not from a desire to strike it rich, but from a typical choice made by women who are outside of the age limit.” The Wonsan police decided to single out and treat the female robberies as “Special Mega Cases” because the way these robberies are being committed is getting worse and worse. In May 18th, there was a robbery took place in Wonsan, where a woman wielding a knife threatened a worker, Lee, Sung-Ok (40s), who was riding a bicycle, and took his bicycle, cash and merchandises.

“Solving the Nation’s Food Crisis, Is It the Job Only for the Poor?”
On May 22nd, in Onsung County, North Hamgyong Province, a group of women from the farming mobilization went to the chairwoman of Democratic Women’s Union and strongly protested about the unfairness of those who do not work at the mobilization because they paid 20,000 NK Won. The women told the chairwoman, “Why is solving the nation’s food crisis the job only for the poor? Those who are rich and eating well must have the strength to work much better than us. Is 150-Day Battle a battle to offer money? How come those with money do not have to work while those without have to work so much?” One woman yelled, “How can a poor person survive in this unjust world?” and burst into loud sobs. Because their demonstration caused much disturbance and lasted a whole day (with no one going to work at the mobilization), the county party workers came and tried to calm them, but their effort yielded little to no result. Once the police got involved, however, the women began to settle down.

A Repercussion Spreads in Haeju City as a Veteran Dies of Hunger
A big repercussion spreads in Haeju City, South Hwanghae Province, because of an incident where Lee, Man-Bok, who was 83 years old this year, died of prolonged hunger on last May 1st. Lee, Man-Bok was a war veteran who had participated in the Korean War during the 1950s. After this incident, Han, Sung-Kuk (pseudonym, 80s), who used to be a regimental commander at the time of the war, went to the Provincial Party in South Hwanghae Province with several other senior war veterans. He remonstrated against neglecting a few remaining veterans from starving to death. Further, he pleaded that the food at least in the amount of 15 days be distributed before everyone perishes with hunger. Thereafter, the Provincial Party received food donations from trade companies that deals with marine products and on May 14th, began the distribution to the senior war veterans. The Grain Administration Department of the People’s Assembly in Haeju City received a list of senior veterans from the district office and issued a food supply certification. On last May 15th, Kwon, Chun-Kil (80s) went to the Haean Dong Distribution Center and received pure grains. Mr. Kwon said “I feel grateful because I will be able to live with this for some time, even though the distribution was only for oneself and not for the family”.

[Women/Children/Education]
Mobilized University Students Commute from School to Farms Due to Lack of Food
Students of universities or colleges in the North Hwanghae Province are commuting from their schools to the farms in order to help out in the fields. Last year, students were provided with food and housing from the farms. Unfortunately this year, the students must take care of their meals and stay at school because the farms cannot provide food for them. For lunch, students bring powdered cornmeal from their dining halls and the farmers take turns providing salted daikons and bean paste soup. Due to the combination of insufficient meals and hard labor from morning to night, students are becoming increasingly exhausted and undergoing all sorts of hardships.

Middle School Students Bring Lunch
Students at the Number One Middle School in Sariwon of the Northern Hwanghae Province are taking lunch to school during the farming mobilization period. The school has informed students to eat breakfast and dinner at home, but to pack their own lunch and bring it for the mobilization. Originally, the government is supposed to provide the students with lunch during the mobilization. Lim Ju-hee (alias, 30’s), a teacher at a middle school in Sariwon, says, “Each student receives 133 grams of whole corn for each meal. This is what a whole class is given to eat together for a single meal. There are about 30 students per class during the entire farming mobilization. Many of the students prepare lunches for teachers. Some of the well-off families add rice to the corn to make teachers’ lunches, while other poor families put a lot of beans into the rice. Since all of the families can prepare tofu soup, they all compete to give the best lunch for the teachers. Because of that, I can have a decent lunch.”
Jang Ock-ran (40’s), a mother of an eighth grader, says, “The students just want a good lunch for their teachers regardless of their family’s financial situations. Some mothers even get into debt in order to provide a good lunch and not to disappoint their children. Since the students work until 8 o’clock in the evening, rich families pack snacks such as rice cake and flour bread for their children to eat during the 4 o’clock snack time. Poor families pack snacks such as corn bread and powdered rice cake. My daughter says that some of her friends in the coed class cry and ask their parents not to pack them powdered rice cake because it is embarrassing for them. The children are so childish that they have no idea how difficult it is for their parents to even prepare the powdered rice cake.”

[Accidents]
All Passengers Killed on Ship Headed to South Korea by Cannon Fire
Last May, Ri Ok-Hwa, (alias, age 20s) who was working for the Fisheries Enterprise in the Oongjin County of South Hwanghae Province was killed while fleeing to South Korea with two other male workers. The three people were working on an 8-horsepower ship when they decided to flee and head towards South Korea. Their actions were quickly reported to the naval officers who quickly followed after them. The naval officers made the decision that it would be too difficult to capture them when the ship was about to pass the territorial seas of North Korea. So, they fired a cannon. Three shots were fired and the ship was left in pieces. It was later confirmed that none of the passengers on the ship survived.

Kangsun Chunlima Steel Enterprise, Safety Accidents Happened
Last May 14th, an accident occurred because of careless work at Chunlima steel mill of Gangsun County in South Pyongan Province. Laborers replacing rolls of hot rolling mill at this factory were crushed under a machine. Three laborers who were working died at the spot, and one was wounded so severely that his limbs were amputated. The engineers commanding the site at that time was arrested immediately and held responsible for the accident.

[Commentary]
“Reactionary Words” Needs to Be Clearly Defined
The term “Reactionary Words” refers to crimes involving blaming the North Korean political system, speaking ill of the Great Leader, or making any other politically unacceptable statements. When a person can be punished for uttering a few poor chosen words, they are being denied their basic freedom of self-expression. While punishment for such an offense is the norm, the actual term “Reactionary Words” appears nowhere to be found in the North Korean penal code. Article 10 defines the “Concept of Crime” as “an act dangerous enough to cause, intentionally or unintentionally, an infringement on the State’s sovereignty, the institutions of socialism or, legal orders.” (Revised 2005) It is generally assumed that the concept of “Reactionary Words” is considered a part of this broad definition of crime. While it is generally claimed that, for an act to be considered a criminal offense, the culprit’s intentions must be established, North Korea’s track record of punishment suggests a different standard is being upheld in the country.

“Good Friends, Inc” interviewed approximately 25,000 defectors from North Korea between June 1997 and March 2000. From these interviews, there were numerous examples of individuals who received jail time for saying something as benign as, “All of us Koreans will die of starvation if this continues.” A male in his forties from Hongwon County received a 40-day jail sentence for remarking “When will the agony end? The sooner this all collapses, the better.” He secured his released by paying a bribe, but he developed schizophrenia from the torture he received. Others examples of statements that elicited harsh punishments are: “In China, even dogs are fed white rice. Here humans cannot even afford a bowl of vegetable porridge. How are we going to survive?”, “Our republic is getting worse day by day” and “Everyone seems to be dying in my daughter’s neighborhood.” An extreme example of enforcement is the story of two close friends who said to each other, “Let’s meet again when a better time comes” and were subsequently labeled “reactionaries.”

None of these examples involved anyone who was looking to promote anti-state propaganda or encourage a “political revolt”. There is nothing in any of their statements that, intentionally or unintentionally, defiles the institution of socialism or the rule of law. They simply serve as examples of how people lead their lives when they have to watch their neighbors starve to death while they are unable to even afford a meager bowl of porridge. These individuals were so frustrated and desperate that they naturally complaining about their lives from time to time. In the past, with the high level of social unrest, it made sense that the state would take firm steps to keep society under control, but why do they still enforce these measures?

While it is not entirely clear which specific clauses are violated by statements like “Can anyone open the gates to a strong nation?”, “Things were not even this bad during Japanese rule” and “Our party is full of empty talk”, it is indisputable that criticism and curses aimed at party leaders are considered a more significant offenses. In many ways, the current situation represents an improvement over the past when it comes to the freedom of expression. Even though all the individuals in this article said things that resulted in their arrests, many ware released after two to three days upon receiving ideological instructions, which might be considered “mild measures.” In this respect, things might be considered improving.

We hope that eventually residents’ speech will not be controlled at all and that the mutual surveillance system will be abolished; a system under which everyone is expected to eavesdrop on everyone else as an informant of the government. If it is difficult to abolish the institutions now, the government should at least clarify the criteria used to determine what are considered “reactionary words”. When “reactionary words” are punishable, the government can keep people silent, but how will they be able to silence people’s minds up, which are filled with concerns that these punishments are not fair. The punishment of “reactionary words” should clearly be reconsidered if the country hopes to maintain the nation’s socialist order.

North Korea Today No.281

RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR NORTH KOREAN SOCIETY
[Weekely Newsletter] No.281 June 2009
[“Good Friends” desires to help the North Korean people through humanistic point of view, and publishes “North Korea Today” describing the way the North Korean people live as real as possible. We at Good Friends also hope to be a bridge between the North Korean people and the world.]
[Hot Topics]
Provincial Party of North Hamgyong Province Announces, “Let Every Organization Compete with Each Other”
City of Hoeryong Suffers From High Absenteeism Even During 150-Day Battle
Maintain Good Citizenship at Home During 150-Day Battle Period

[Food]
Kosan County Collective Farm, 2nd Distribution Recipients Collects Two Months Worth Food Reduction
Pyongyang Ryongsung District Suspended Distribution until September

[Economy]
Rochang-ri Farm in Chungjin Worried as 60% of Rice Seedlings Wither
Only the Managers are Using the Computers in Heungnam Fertilizer Factory

[Politics]
Officials in North Hamgyong Province Held an Emergency Conference Call
The Bureau 27 North Hamgyong Inspections Suddenly Cease
Security agents are in trouble with Bureau 27

[Society]
The People’s Army Joint Staff Section Issues an Order, “Help the Agricultural Community”
Nampo College Students Tour Supporting the 150-Day Battle
An Old Person Addressed as A Big Landowner Passed away When His Land Was Forfeited

[Women/Children/Education]
Democratic Women’s Union Insists, “Take Care of Women Who Have Delivered Three Children”

[Accidents]
Bean Curd (Tofu) Seller Attempts Suicide After Being Abused by Police

[Commentary]
Even a Remote Possibility of War Should Not Be Tolerated

________________________________________________________
[Hot Topics]
Provincial Party of North Hamgyong Province Announces, “Let Every Organization Compete with Each Other”
The Provincial Party of North Hamgyong Province held another plenary meeting regarding the 150-day battle on May 13 after a similar meeting on May 7. The meeting concluded with a decision “to let every organization compete with each other in order to accomplish a good harvest this year.” The idea is to enhance competitiveness by sorting out units with good production results from ones with poor results. It is expected that more thorough reviews of various indices will be conducted. Such indices refer to a wide variety of items in the area of agriculture, including the current amount of fertilizer available, status of human resources, readiness of agricultural equipment, and detailed daily plans. Party workers and administrators who have been dispatched to the fields are supposed to file detailed reports on the unit’s planning and accomplishments. A city party leader who attended the meeting said that the decision was intended to increase the level of production by letting organizations compete with each other.

City of Hoeryong Suffers From High Absenteeism Even During 150-Day Battle
The City of Hoeryong in North Hamgyong Province is on the alert because of high absenteeism even during the 150-day battle period. In the cases of the two attack units, 5th and 6th battalions, each company has barely twenty people reporting to work. Each battalion, made up of 150 to 180 people, consists of three companies that are each split into three platoons. Therefore, each platoon has 15 to 20 people. The fact that each company has barely twenty people reporting to work means that there is only one platoon, not three in a company. Accordingly, on May 14, city chairmen of the Construction Department and Transportation Department gathered party members and again explained the content of a secret letter. The intention was to make the party aware of the importance and seriousness of the 150-day battle and to overcome any difficulties with the power of ideology. However, things are not that simple if one reviews the situation of subordinate attack unit members. Those who do not report to work have almost run out of food. Rations handed out by the city did were not sufficient for even a few days. Laborers say, “That amount of rations can last a family only two days.” After learning the reality of the situation, even the command center of the Construction Department could not force the laborers to report to work. All they could do was explain again the importance of the 150-day battle through party workers. Laborers say with anger, “the 150-day battle is not a gate to opening a Strong and Prosperous Nation, but a gate to be closed so that a Strong and Prosperous Nation may pass. The 150-day battle is a battle leading laborers to agony and death.” In the meantime, other areas are also suffering from high absenteeism. The Mining Machinery Factory of the Ranam District in the City of Chungjin makes laborers report to work by force. Laborers at the Processing Unit and Coal Moving Unit have been forced to report to work and they are being pressed to complete the unfinished tasks assigned last month.

Maintain Good Citizenship at Home During 150-Day Battle Period
During the period of this 150-day battle, residents are being reviewed in their private lives as well as in their workplace. A party leader of the City of Pyongsung, South Pyongan Province said, “the 150-day battle is a battle with which people vowed to our Dear Leader to expedite opening a Strong and Prosperous Nation. Therefore each resident is to go through a self-examination during this period.” Each Neighborhood Unit of the districts of Pyongsung will visit each household and see how our Leader’s portraits are being cared for. At the markets, inspections will be conducted to discover all of the contraband items for sale. Even a pack of cigarettes or market shelves for used clothing will be confiscated. Many female peddlers are found struggling to avoid police inspectors. They repeatedly display contraband items on the ground and hide them from the police inspectors. People’s Assembly supervisors are busy delivering various instructions to individual households, such as “raise the height of the fence, beautify and repair roof and paint them with lime, and clean up the drainage, etc.” Anyone not complying with the instructions is threatened with words such as, “You do not deserve to live in the city and you will be expelled to the countryside.” Chung Hyangok (50s) complains with a sigh, “Will the day come when I do not have to worry about all this nonsense?”

[Food]
Kosan County Collective Farm, 2nd Distribution Recipients Collects Two Months Worth Food Reduction
Although time has passed, there are many complaints regarding distributions at Jookgun collective Farm in Kosan County, Kangwon Province. Last year’s total production at this farm was about 1,700 tons of corn, rice and other crops. Approximately 800 tons were taken by the 5th Corps 5th Division in the rear and another 500 tons were deducted for non-tax contributions that all farmers are responsible for. The remaining 400 tons were farmers’ share. For a family where both parents are farming and have two children received 620kg. There were complaints that this was a small ration, however this is considered a lucky case. There are 9 agricultural units and 1 mechanical unit and the 2nd distribution recipients, work units 6 through 9, received 2 months worth food reductions. On the other hand, the farm managing workers did not deduct any social taxes and received full distribution, which led to farmer’s unspoken resentment. As of mid May, there are many families not coming to their workplaces due to shortage of food even thought the 150 Days Combat is in progress. It is essential to have full mobilization to obtain a successful result at the 150-Days Battle. So, the farm officials are investigating starving households and providing 5kg of grain to these families.

Pyongyang Ryongsung District Suspended Distribution until September
Ryongsung District, Pyongyang City suspended all distributions starting from May through September. They provided 5kg of corn per person up until April but they are now ordered to be self-sufficient. The party is holding several lectures repeatedly announcing that there will be better condition for farming within 3-4 years as they make their way to being a Strong and Prosperous Nation. With this reasoning, the party ordered, “Enhancing agricultural production levels by mobilizing all parties, all workers and all troops”. The residents are frustrated with a rumor that there might be new 100-Day Battle starting followed by the 150-Days Battle.

[Economy]
Rochang-ri Farm in Chungjin Worried as 60% of Rice Seedlings Wither
Rochang-ri Farm in Chungam area, Chungjin City, North Hamgyong Province, is worried because the transplanting of the rice seedlings began about two days ago, but the rice seedlings are already dying. The members of the farm cannot find out the reason and wonders whether the ratio of the agrichemicals were wrong.

Only the Managers are Using the Computers in Heungnam Fertilizer Factory
The Heungnam Fertilizer Factory in South Hamgyong Province received 20 computers this year to boost up the production of chemical fertilizer through the supply of scientific technology. The Central Party instructed the workers of the Heungnam Fertilizer Factory to increase the production of fertilizer and subsidized them to elevate their level of functioning. On last April 3rd, the computers were placed in the scientific technology supply room; however, only a few people are allowed to use them. Only the officials of the factory or the workers of the Primary Party can use the computer. The laborers know that the computers are in the scientific technology supply room, but they cannot use them. If the laborers enter the room by chance, they are usually yelled at for being there without working and are thrown out of the room. Changseok Chung (pseudonym, 30s), who is a laborer of the factory, cannot understand this and says, “Why do they use the computer by themselves when the Great General provided it so that we may produce more fertilizers? The officials cannot increase the production by using the computer in the office. The laborers are the ones who need the technology information, but they are not allowing the laborers to even touch the computer. How can they do that?” By the way, it was reported that the amount of production for the past first quarter was 70% of the target figure, and the amount of production increased up to 85% during the second quarter.

[Politics]
Officials in North Hamgyong Province Held an Emergency Conference Call
On the afternoon of May 18th, city and county officials from across North Hamgyong Province gathered in their respective party meeting rooms to participate in an emergency conference call. Workers from each region gathered and listened to an address delivered on the call by the leading secretary of the Provincial Party. The primary message conveyed on the call was the need for workers to take initiative in the 150-Day Battle, that the success of farming efforts was particularly vital in face of the looming food crisis, and that the potential for North Korea to become a Strong and Prosperous Nation depended on their efforts. An electrical shortage in Hoeryung City caused the local phone to disconnect during the call, but aside from this incident, the Provincial Party Secretary’s address went smoothly.

The Bureau 27 North Hamgyong Inspections Suddenly Cease
On May 17th, Bureau 27 inspectors suddenly ended their inspections and withdrew from North Hamgyong Province. Local residents were quite curious about the cause of this sudden withdrawal, and later learned that the inspections had been terminated because they were seen to be interfering with the 150-Day Battle. While the 150-Day Battle was ongoing, the inspectors went to every home to confiscate all TVs and VCRs. These actions lead to deep resentment and numerous complaints from residents. Often, after their property was seized, workers would skip work and try to find ways to get their possessions back. After having to face many crying housewives who pleaded to be given back the precious things that had been taken from them, the County Party recommended to the Central Party that “It is not wise to add stress to the lives of residents who are in the middle of a battle. Furthermore, their productivity has been plummeting.” Eventually, the Central Party recalled the inspectors.

Security agents are in trouble with Bureau 27
Before the Bureau 27 inspectors left North Hamgyong Province, they inflicted a great deal of suffering on the local population. Inspectors would enter houses uninvited, and if they found a TV without a preset tuner, they would confiscate the device without allowing the owners to explain themselves. If the inspectors had acted in a fair manner, there would have been far fewer objections. Those with money were able to quickly regain their possessions, but those without had to struggle to come up with enough money for the necessary bribe. Residents were expected to come up with at least a few boxes of Chinese Cigarettes within days of the confiscation, or they could expect to never see their possessions again. On May 10th, ten families in Onsung had their televisions confiscated on the same day. Even those residents who were not accused of any wrongdoing, like watching illegal programs, still had their televisions taken away. This caused a lot of anger amongst residents. Ko Jung-woon (40’s) described the mood – “They took away my TV because it was not tuned correctly. Everyone says they are unfairly taking advantage of the people. “ Kim Jung-Hyun (pseudonym, 40’s) lamented: “If this was happening anywhere else in the world, there would be riots, but our people are going around begging for cigarettes so they can pay a bribe. What kind of country is this? Our people are far too meek.” Bureau 27 agents also discovered that many police officers had South Korean movies on their computers. These officers are currently awaiting prosecution.

[Society]
The People’s Army Joint Staff Section Issues an Order, “Help the Agricultural Community”
The People’s Army Joint Staff Section issued an order of assisting agricultural production to North and South Hwanghae Province, North and South Pyongan Province, and Kangwon province through the phone and teletype. The main message was, “It’s time to help out the agricultural community. We must show the leadership of our military-first politics. The citizens are preparing for the 150-day Battle so the military must get involved as well, and help with all their effort.” Following this statement, each military unit has been helping out in the fields especially the 5th Corps, 5th Division, 10th regiment in the Kangwon province of the infantry battalion. They have been carrying around portable outdoor tents to support the agricultural community.

Nampo College Students Tour Supporting the 150-Day Battle
Students majoring in dance and music in Nampo City of South Pyongan Province have been going on tour in order to show support for the 150-Day Battle. They have been traveling to rural parts of the country such as Ryong Kang, Kang Suh, and Kang Dong counties and more, to help out workers in the fields. Many areas are welcoming the performances, but some are giving them a cold reception. Currently, at a collective farm there is 82mm trench mortar battalion of the 3rd Division deployed to support the rural community. These people are not happy with the Nampo college students’ performance. They are saying, “Don’t support us through singing but by giving us food.” After announcing their opinion the performance was cancelled. As this problem reached the superior officials, two of the battalion’s political workers were discharged from the military and three political instructors were punished. The supreme commander of the North Korean People`s Army said, “How can they dare to disgrace the military through food,” and warned others from repeating this mistake in the future.

An Old Person Addressed as A Big Landowner Passed away When His Land Was Forfeited
Gil Deok-chang (62) at the 2nd unit, Ryongnam-ri, Saebyul County in North Hamgyong Province has been addressed as a large landowner because he used to cultivate crops on large amounts of forest for private farm field. Mr. Gil lived in Pyongyang until he was 32 years old, but he was expelled from his hometown to Saebyul County because he was a son of a rich farmer. He received a senior pension. He worked as a forest ranger under a forest supervisor and grew crops personally. At first he cultivated corn on 1,000 pyongs[1] and he enlarged the cultivating dimension into 5 Jungbos[2] in 2008. In order to farm on the property, he hired people by paying them 5kgs of corn a day. He usually harvested 18 tons of corn a year and therefore his neighbors called him a big landowner. However, when the Forest Utilization Unit was dissolved this year, he lost his land and complained to the head of the Department of Industrial Wood in the Department of Land Management and his staff about their decision. While he was arguing with them about this issue, he died due to a heart attack. Only a few people mourned over his death because they thought he was just an awful old hog and died. Only his workers who fed their families and themselves by working for his farm felt sorry and mourned over his death.

[Women/Children/Education]
Democratic Women’s Union Insists, “Take Care of Women Who Have Delivered Three Children”
The Democratic Women’s Union (DWU) of Sinuiju in North Pyongan Province held a lecture themed, “Women should bear many children--we should take care of women, who have three children.” Although this lecture began with a keynote speech to inspire hard work during the 150-Day Battle for work, the lecture segued into this issue because of the growing number of women disinclined to having children posing a threat to the future workforce. As an incentive for women to bear more children, at the schools, families with three or more children can be lifted from non-tax contribution burdens. A member of DWU said, “It is hard to feed children when we can barely feed ourselves.” Additionally, the schools demand enormous contributions from the parents, making it difficult to even educate the children. Consequently, many have grown to believe that it is better not to have any children if they will not be able to provide for them properly through nourishment and education. As a direct consequence of this growing trend of young people avoiding child birth, the government seemed to have stepped in with policies geared towards assisting women to alleviate the gradually declining birth rate in the country as a whole.

[Accidents]
Bean Curd (Tofu) Seller Attempts Suicide After Being Abused by Police
Heo Jeong-hee (alias, 30s), who lives in Bokchun-dong, Danchun City, South Hamgyong Province, attempted suicide on May 14. She had lost her husband a few years ago and has lived a difficult life trying to support her mother and her two daughters. Heo made and sold bean curd at the market where she sold 50 squares of bean curd a day. She worked without sleeping to make ends meet. A few days before the incident, a new policy was installed for the removal of food stands. One officer had come to enforce this new law, and proceeded with insults and harassment. The police officer claimed that she was too young to be selling bean curd at the market and swore at her while even throwing out the bowl containing the bean curd. Heo screamed out, “Then, how do you expect me to live?” This outburst won her trip to the police station where she received the “Reactionary Elements” stamp. A close friend and neighbor said that she could only imagine what could have happened to her at the police station. When she saw her again after four days in jail, Heo seemed to be in a state of shock; her eyes were glazy for three days. “I didn’t dare to ask her about what had happened in the jail, but I sensed that she had suffered horribly.” Heo drank salt water to end her life, but barely survived and just cried, unable to say anything. Her neighbors tried to console her and advised her to live with strong will to survive leaving the bad memories behind, telling her that “she must live and be strong for her elderly mother and children.”

[Commentary]
Even a Remote Possibility of War Should Not Be Tolerated
North Korea conducted a nuclear test on May 25. This was the second test since 2006. It took place when South Korea was in shock from the tragic death of the former President Roh Moo-hyun. On May 27, the South Korean government announced its full participation in the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). A North Korean military spokesman at Panmunjum immediately released a statement in response, declaring that “even a small hostile military action toward us will be answered with a powerful military attack.” The Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland Committee declared in a statement, “We will respond with real military measures suitable in a period of war.” In response to these threats, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff declared that they will resolutely respond to North Korea’s provocations. The ROK-US Combined Forces Command upgraded the Watch Condition, which takes into account surveillance information gathered from North Korea, to Step 2 (serious risk) from Step 3. At the moment, dark clouds of war are forming over the Korean peninsula. The current political crisis in the Korean peninsula is like a car flying along with broken brakes. Will any government, either South or North, be capable of applying the brakes before anyone gets hurt? Neither government seems capable of doing so. We are disappointed and worried about the attitudes of both governments. Governmental authorities on both sides point fingers at the other side for shirking responsibilities and raise their voices, “We will not hesitate to go to war if provoked.” Both sides emphasize “national security,” but they never seem to be agonized or show interest in safeguarding the lives and welfare of their own people.

Peoples’ lives are not to be protected and saved simply by a swift and complete domination over your enemy. Peoples’ lives are to be protected and saved through maintaining and managing peace. This can be accomplished only by withholding any provocative and hostile words, maintaining friendly relations and a non-combative posture until complete peace takes root. In other words, neither side should give any excuse to the other side to be provocative, not even the slightest excuse. This is the primary capability and the highest virtue on the part of politicians.

Residents of both Koreas are suffering from economic hardships on an unprecedented scale. Consequently, more than at any other time, suffering people need a sense of hopefulness. It is the task of politicians to be comforting and compassionate toward suffering people. Unfortunately both authorities seem to be failing to communicate with their own people. In some respects, they seem to be neglecting communication or not even trying to begin the process. In North Korea, maintenance of the current political power structure seems to have preceded the security of people’s livelihood. North Korean authorities do not seem to care how much suffering residents are going through during the current 150-day battle. Residents are mobilized by force, worse than during any other battle in the past.

It would be hard to tell how much longer the residents, suffering from hunger, will remain “good citizens.” How about South Koreans? South Korean residents have realized how handicapped the Lee regime is in reading public sentiment after experiencing last year’s candle light protests in Seoul plaza during the memorial period for former President Roh Moo-hyun. Public opinion in general seems to believe that, “it is disappointing and lamentable for the Lee regime to ‘neglect decent attitudes toward a human being’ aside from issues of ideology.”

At the present time, the authorities of South and North Korea are far removed from “their people.” It is highly questionable how smoothly governmental affairs can be managed without support from their people. Rulers of both sides should not fall into the temptation, as they have tried in the past, to turn around the unfavorable political situations by inciting outside enemies. Countless individuals should not be victims of incompetence and egotistic disputes on the part of rulers on both sides. Rulers of both sides should go through a thorough self-evaluation on the way their governmental affairs have been run. They should understand their people through communication with them and acquire their support. Based on this support, they should attempt to solve difficult problems in the international community.
For us Koreans, there still remains a painful history of war between the South and North and the agony of a divided society. These painful wounds are about to open and start a vicious cycle before they are completely healed. All Korean people believe that there should never be war again on this peninsula. They believe peace should take root as soon as possible. Governments should listen to people, more than at any other time. People urge their rulers not to commit historical sins. People urge their rulers to reach wise resolutions and reconcile with each other.
[1] unit of land; 1 pyong is 3.954 sq. yds
[2] unit of land, 1 Jungbo is 2.45acres, and 3,000 Pyongs

North Korea Today No.280

RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR NORTH KOREAN SOCIETY
http://www.goodfriends.or.kr
[Weekely Newsletter] No.280 June 2009
[“Good Friends” desires to help the North Korean people through humanistic point of view, and publishes “North Korea Today” describing the way the North Korean people live as real as possible. We at Good Friends also hope to be a bridge between the North Korean people and the world.]
[Hot Topics]
Ban on Food Sales Begins on May 8 in All Markets
Noodle Peddlers Leave Markets and Head for Rural Areas
Inspection of Second-Hand Clothing Leads to a Big Fight in Soonam Market
Watching People in Place of Peddling in Choopyong Market, Hamheung

[Food]
Trouble at Uhryang River Power Plant Due to Food Shortage

[Economy]
South Hwanghae Province Ordered to “Bring Full Strengths to Secure Fertilizer”
South Pyongan Province, Agenda Meeting in Preparation for Farming

[Politics]
Punished for Doing Sideline Work on the First Day of 150-Day Battle Campaign

[Society]
A Teacher’s Family Decided to Disperse After Night-long Debate
Sent to Jail Because of Just One Misspoken Word

[Women/Children/Education]
Research by Heungnam Educational Department Shows Over One-third of Students Are Absent
North Hamgyong Province Has the Largest Number of Runaways from Military Draft

[Accidents]
Military Officer Murdered a Woman Who Turned Down His Marriage Proposal
_________________________________________________________
[Hot Topics]
Ban on Food Sales Begins on May 8 in All Markets
Effective beginning May 8, a ban on food sales in all markets has been declared throughout the nation. The measure is said to be necessary to prevent waste of food. As food items are added to the list of contraband for sale in the markets, every market witnesses, more often than usual, squabbles among peddlers and government inspectors. Inspectors confiscate the contraband items and penalize those who sell them with fines from a minimum of 3,000 to maximum 10,000 NK won.

Noodle Peddlers Leave Markets and Head for Rural Areas
Noodle peddlers are leaving market areas and roaming throughout the rural areas. Chinese-made corn noodles officially costs 100 NK won, but peddlers pay 700 NK won. It is sold for 800 to 850 NK won at markets. These peddlers’ wares used to end up on market shelves, but small retail quantities have forced them to try other means of distribution. They are now turning to rural areas in order to avoid frequent government inspections. They say that rural areas generate more business because rural farm workers cannot produce noodles, even with their available corn, due to the lack of electric power.

Inspection of Second-Hand Clothing Leads to a Big Fight in Soonam Market
In the afternoon of May 5 in the Soonam district of Chungjin City in North Hamgyong Province, a fight broke out between a female clothing peddler and a policeman. Kim Hye-yung (pseudonym, 40s) used to own market shelves at Soonam Market. She was kicked out of the market when the government banned the sale of second-hand clothing. Despite being forbidden to do so, Ms. Kim continued peddling second-hand clothing, displaying her wares on the ground, because “she had to make a living somehow.” Until recently, she was able to dodge inspectors. But on that particular day, she was not so fortunate. As soon as two policemen caught sight of her, they tried to take her to the police station, violently pushing her. She resisted her arrest, as one of the policeman tried to take the bag containing her clothing. She pushed the policeman and grabbed the bag, tightly hanging onto it. The younger policeman got angry and kicked her several times. Several on-lookers got upset over the sight. They got closer and started blaming the policemen, pointing fingers at them. The policemen did not seem to care and kept trying to take her to the police station. She scratched the faces of policemen and tore their clothes, struggling to avoid being taken to the station. The policemen got angrier and continued kicking her, which led to an even greater confrontation. Her husband finally showed up and started fighting the policemen. As their corner of the market became noisy, it drew the attention of a couple of patrolmen, who joined in and began beating her husband. Eventually her husband was beaten into unconsciousness. Four policemen pulled her husband’s unconscious body to the police station. This poor lady followed them crying, occasionally getting kicked by the policemen. Some onlookers shouted curses at the policemen, “You SOBs, don’t hit the man, bunch of thugs.” Many more bystanders joined in, cursing at the policemen. One of the onlookers, an elderly party member, filed a complaint with the provincial party on behalf of the residents.

Watching People in Place of Peddling in Choopyong Market, Hamheung
People say peddlers at the Choopyong Market, Hamheung, South Hamgyong Province watch people at the market instead of doing business. It is of course because of low volume of business. Throughout the nation, instructions came down from Market Management suggesting that the peddlers change items in dealing. This caused a lot of frustration on the part of peddlers on top of low volume of business, which is really “killing them.” Currently the items they can deal with are agricultural products, such as vegetables and herbs. Jung Geum-soon (50s) says with a deep sigh, “Market is full of vegetable vendors. After a full day’s business, we still cannot afford to buy 1 Kg of grain. But we do not have any choice. We want to be able to afford some side dishes. Look at the faces of the people. They look in agony and are without smiles. There is no business, watching people with such faces whole day is no fun.” Another peddler added with sadness that mobilization for rice transplanting in early May caused business to come down sharply.

[Food]
Trouble at Uhryang River Power Plant Due to Food Shortage
The Uhryang River Power Plant Construction Site at North Hamkyung Province is having a difficult food supply situation. Corn powder is the basic food supply. On a good day, construction workers are able to eat corn noodles as two meals and corn meal for lunch. In most cases, they survive on porridge. They are given seaweed soup and salted cabbage or radish as an occasional side dish. The shock troop brigade at this construction site is formed of two companies and four platoons. Three platoons at this site are assigned to make blocks in three different shifts. They mix cement and sand to make strong blocks with their daily goal of making 6000 blocks. Each platoon needs to make at least 2000 blocks. They are not allowed to switch their shifts and have to continue working until they reach their goal of 2000 blocks. The laborers suffer due to their harsh working conditions and poor food situations. Originally the shock troop brigade is a 3 month contract but frequently the next shifts do not show up. This is the reason why there are so many runaways. Those who do not run away and work for years at this site are people who have no other places to go. For example, there are orphans with no siblings or divorcees with no place to turn to.

[Economy]
South Hwanghae Province Ordered to “Bring Full Strengths to Secure Fertilizer”
Last May 2, Haeju City, South Hwanghae Province held a Province Party meeting with all their members. Participants of this meeting included Chief Secretaries from all cities and counties and the Agricultural Management Chairman. The main topic for this meeting was about ways to secure fertilizers. “Being the Nation’s main granary region, Hwanghae Province needs to have a good crop production and contribute to the opening of the Strong and Prosperous Nation”. They announced that they do not have enough chemical fertilizer. So, it is urgent to secure maximum amount of fertilizer. In response, farmers raised the importance of securing the Heukbosan Fertilizer and dry manure. “We need to use more chemical fertilizers because Hwanghae Province is the most successful farming region. However, there is not enough fertilizer for every region. So, some farms would not receive any fertilizer. Due to the circumstances, everyone over middle school age from all cities and counties needs to submit 20kg of human manure.” In addition, they spent much time talking about workers ideology education. The repeated, “Keep in mind that the grand idea of 150-Days Battle is created by the Great General to open doors to become a Strong and Prosperous Nation. Workers need to concentrate and give full efforts to their work.” They pushed to stimulate ‘the proposal for better crop production’ and added, “We can find out our worker’s capability at the end of the harvesting season in the fall.”

South Pyongan Province, Agenda Meeting in Preparation for Farming
On May 4th, the Organization Secretaries of the Provincial Party and the chairmen of Farming Management Commission held a meeting in South Pyongan Province. Every Secretary of the Divisional Party in Sukchun County, Moonduk County, Pyongwon County, Anju City, etc., which has a large area of cultivated land in South Pyongan Province, as well the administrative workers, were present in this meeting. The main issue was “to resolve the food problem by ourselves as we face the world-sweeping food crisis”. Especially on this day, each official was asked about “how much farming preparation has been made in order to achieve the amount of yield planned for this year”. The purpose of the meeting was to examine thoroughly whether the fertilizers, gases and the labors needed for farming were sufficiently prepared.
In addition, each official was required to pledge to accomplish the farming principle of the Party during this meeting. It was said, “This year’s farming must be successful at all cost, even if every farm members will have to be driven out”. Further, it was even hinted that there will be no inquiries for personal irregularities if the farming is successful. In this early May, approximately 20% of farms in South Pyongan Province have started Monaegi (transplanting rice seedlings). There are some farm villages where people cannot use farming machines because they do not have gasoline; students and soldiers are assisting these villages by manually disking up the surface.

[Politics]
Punished for Doing Sideline Work on the First Day of 150-Day Battle Campaign
The Party punished several laborers in ship repair center and several Party members in Heungnam City, South Hamgyong Province. They were punished because they did sideline activities on the first day of the 150-Day Campaign. In case of Pipe Manufacture Work Unit No.1, many workers went out to the sea even though the 150-Day Campaign has already started. It is because the people could not miss the opportunity to work and earn 7,000 NK won per person. The Primary Party Committee reported to the higher Party that “this tendency was noted from day one of the 150-Day Campaign”, and punished six Party members for six months per each. The Central Party officials and the dispatched personnel from the Provincial Party went to the ship repair center this year and emphasized to workers the way to attain the joint task-force, but it was not enough to prevent the workers’ sideline activities. It is because a person can earn 7,000 won by going out to the sea and work for one or two days as a sideline work. The Party members who were caught and punished this time were known to have resisted by saying, “What is the point of being a Party member? It is needless. Being a Party member is rather more troublesome. It is not like that a Party member would receive more distribution”. The Party members who said that were immediately expelled from the Party. The principle and the policy of the Party have been emphasized as such; however, the number of absentees increases because the distribution has not been kept up.

[Society]
A Teacher’s Family Decided to Disperse After Night-long Debate
Only a year ago, Kim, Jung-Hwan (pseudonym, 47) was a teacher at one of middle schools in the city of Hamheung, South Hamgyong Province. He was also a head of a family which included his parents, wife and three children. Because wife could not go to work due to her illness and his parents were too old to work, he had to be the sole bread winner for the entire family. So, he gave up teaching to go around washing for gold. He was able to provide just enough for them to live on porridge everyday until he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. When the father was unable to work any more, the three children went out to beg for food and brought it home for the entire family. But, the family knew that they could not go on much longer in that way. One day, they held a discussion, which lasted all day and all night, on how they would survive the days and weeks ahead. Since no brilliant idea emerged, they decided to split the family. Mr. Kim stayed on with his oldest son and his parents, and the rest of the family – his wife, younger son and the youngest daughter – went to live with the wife’s family.
Last September, the 70 year old grandfather died, and Mr. Kim followed him to the grave soon after. Then not even a month later, Mr. Kim’s mother passed away because of grief over losing both her husband and son. After her mother-in-law’s death, Mrs. Kim called the oldest son over to where she was. However, the wife’s family was not happy about having to feed four hungry stomachs in addition to their own during this difficult time. So, the Kim family had a discussion once again on how they would survive through this crisis, and they decided to split once more. The five year old daughter and the mother would stay with her family, and the boys, sixteen and eleven, would go out to make a living somehow. Though it has been several months, there is no prospect of this family being reunited and living as one family any time soon.

Sent to Jail Because of Just One Misspoken Word
Mrs. Choi, Hyang-Nam (age 30s) is an ordinary housewife raising a family of two children with her husband in the Pohang district of Chungjin City, in the North Hamgyong Province. Two years ago, her husband who was working for a Gimchaek Steel mill, was involved in a serious accident leaving him as a stay home dad. Thus, Mrs. Choi became a tough woman, supporting a family of four all by herself. She has done everything, such as collecting kelp and seaweed from the sea, selling salt, and even selling perm hair dye door-to-door. However, it became increasingly harder to put food on the table for her family of four. When lucky, the family was able to eat corn with rice, and when unlucky had to settle for corn noodles or porridge to alleviate their hunger.
Because her family came first, she habitually had to starve in order to feed her husband and children. That day was no different from any other when she sat on the streets all day in hopes of selling some vegetables and was coming home with barely anything sold. The street vendors were gathered in a group, complaining about the lack of profit when Mrs. Choi said, “I don't understand why it’s becoming harder and harder to live when the government always says that our country is getting nearer to the Strong and Prosperous Nation and passing through the difficult time.” It is unknown who told who, but the very next day, the police came to investigate Mrs. Choi and arrested her. Because of the one thing she had said at the marketplace that day, she was now behind bars. Mrs. Choi said, “I do not recall ever saying such things. Someone is plotting against me. How could I ever say such a thing when we are all fighting and working 150 days battle towards a strong country?” Despite her plea, Mrs. Choi was in jail for one week and educated before she was released.

[Women/Children/Education]
Research by Heungnam Educational Department Shows Over One-third of Students Are Absent
According to the research by Department of Education of North and South Hamgyong Province from May 2nd, over one-third of the students in every school have been absent for an extended number of days due to family and/or economic issues. An official of the Department of Education of South Hamgyong Province stated that each City Party conducted this research because student attendance was noticeably low. For example, 12 out of 34 students in a senior class in Sapo Middle School in Hamheung, South Hamgyong Province have been absent for an extended time. The main reason for their long absence from school has been related to economic issues: they need to trade with their parents, make money by delivering packages in the stations or market places, or collect wild greens to help support their families.
A middle school teacher in Heungnam said, “Students who live in critical economic situations do not attend their school at all. When I visited them, all of their parents told me similar stories that their trade was so bad that they cannot survive from June to August if their children do not work. They should trade to survive.” He said that paying extra contributions to school is another burden on students and their parents. When Chungjin of North Hamgyong Province also conducted a survey on student attendance, residents of Ranam district said, “Going to school is a heavy burden on the students and their parents. So, the attendance can’t be anything but low.”

North Hamgyong Province Has the Largest Number of Runaways from Military Draft
It was reported that North Hamgyong Province has the largest number of runaways of middle school graduate recruits from this year’s enlistment. The enlistment office of North Hamgyong Province stated that 27 draftees already ran away from their service within a month from April 13 to today. According to the ‘August 20’ policy which says to “Send draft dodgers to the most dangerous and arduous sections such as coal mines, mineral mines, or lumber sections,” those run-away recruits will be sent to one of these areas. Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces ordered the Party of North Hamgyong Province to “enlist the most appropriately verified students” for this fall’s enlistment project. On the other hand, the elementary institute of Gilju County in North Hamgyong Province does not have a single recruit this year because many of the students have troubled backgrounds.
Kim Young-kyu (a pseudonym, 50s), a teacher, said, “Many of the students have had their parents starve to death during the Arduous March, crossed the border to China and then executed by a firing squad, or divorced. So, most of them have broken families. Their background was too unstable for them to serve in the military. They cannot be enlisted.” Graduates of this institute are usually sent to farms or construction areas such as 12 students to the Pyongyang Shock Troop Brigade, 25 students to Gimchaek Youth Goat Farm, and 20 students to each Youth Work Group of Urang County Collective Farms.

[Accidents]
Military Officer Murdered a Woman Who Turned Down His Marriage Proposal
Last April 27th, a murder case occurred in Gangseo town of Gangseo County. It was a case where a head of platoon was refused by a county woman he admired and through spite he murdered her. The officer said he was drunk and didn’t intend to kill her but only hit her several times out of anger. The military police tried to take over the case, but the police decided to investigate the case themselves, saying it was a “major murder case.” The police wanted to handle the case because the victim was a civilian. For that reason, there were frictions the police and the military police. Soldiers heard this news and said it is a shame of unsavory incident “Unmarried officers have a hard time meeting woman. This is because there are no women who want to marry military officers. The whole society is suffering from food problems and the army is also suffering food problems without any solution.”
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