Villagers in North Korea are reportedly showing signs of resistance against Kim Jong-un’s soldiers who have allegedly been ransacking civilian homes for food, according to a report from South Korean media.
In a rare form of defiance, villagers in several provinces have expressed their opposition against North Korean soldiers who have recently been barging into their homes to confiscate the food intended for their families.
Recent international sanctions, coupled with a poor harvest, have reportedly left the government with reduced food rations, pushing starving soldiers to go and acquire their own food supplies from civilians.
Daily NK, an online newspaper based in South Korea with content obtained from inside their secretive neighbor via a network of informants, reported that the forced looting of goods, which has “become a source of conflict’ between farmers and authorities” stemmed from the farmers’ inability to fulfill the North Korean soldiers provision quotas due to a terrible harvest last year.
“Officials carried out home searches in Paekam County (Ryanggang Province) to determine how much food some families had,” a source in Ryanggang Province was quoted as saying. “As an excuse to enter and demand bribes, they said to the residents, ‘Are we just going to let our military starve while the Americans lick their lips and prepare to eat us alive?’”
Another source, from South Hamgyong Province, claimed that it has been a tough year for them due to the bad harvest. Funds intended for the purchase of farm equipment or fertilizer were diverted to be used for food and other items for the North Korean soldiers.
“We are suffering because collective farms in our region did not have a good harvest last year and so we were unable to fulfill the mandatory quota for military provisions. All individuals who weren’t able to meet the demands have been receiving additional assignments since the very beginning of January,” the source revealed.
The same sentiment was revealed by another source in Ryanggang Province, who lamented on the state of the increasing demand while struggling with a diminishing supply.
“Last year, most of this region, including the Taehongdan, Pochon, Samjiyon, and Paekam areas, were not able to meet their military provision quotas. These demands are pushing people to their wits’ end,” he explained.
“Sometime in spring, the collective farms that are behind on their quotas will have some of their constituents provide frozen potatoes, which are processed by peeling and drying before presentation to the authorities. But many also call the season the ‘time when thieves (in this case, the farm authorities) rear their ugly heads’.”
Rimjingang, a North Korean magazine published by Japan-based Asia Press has previously reported on similar problems faced by farmers in providing for military provisions in the past decade. The media outlet’s YouTube channel has provided an unflinching image of the harrowing conditions of the poor villagers: