Sunday, June 19, 2011

North Korea and Cannibalism... and more

North Korean Homeless Children (Kotjebi)
Caleb Mission Church, a South Korean church that specializes in rescuing North Korean defectors, supposedly found and released an official North Korean government's report, documenting cases of cannibalism, black markets, civilian riots, counterfeit currency, drug trading, and so on.

The 791-page long report, named "reference book for law-fighting workers" was released on June of 2009, by then-called Department of People's Security(인민보안성). The church released this report to certain news media on the 19th.

This reference book detailed on 721 criminal cases and how to punish the criminals. Most of the crimes were food-related crimes. The book starts out with a introduction that says "This kind of book is a first one in its kind and is based on actual cases that can happen in people's security activities." One of the cases in the book, is the first documented case of cannibalism in North Korea. Read more below.

Cannibalism... documented
One of these cases read : "Lee Man-Sung, who was disabled by an industrial accident was living and working in a factory dormitory, murdered his roommate, Han Nam-Ho, with an axe he found in the guardroom , ate some of the corpse and sold the rest at the local market as lamb meat. He was arrested."

This is a significant news, because there have been many accounts of cannibalism in North Korea during the great famine in the 90s (source), but they have all been personal accounts of defectors from North Korea. But this report - if its authenticity can be proved - provides the first official documented proof of cannibalism taking place in North Korea.

The rest of the cases
Riots. One case read : When officials started shutting down businesses and confiscating goods from a local market for selling banned goods, 20 citizens raided the office, knocked off desks and destroyed chairs. In another case, a merchant whose life was destroyed after government officials banned him from running his business, poured alcohol all over the official in protest.

Counterfeits. One art museum made 100 counterfeit currency and used them to buy goods from black market merchants at night. Two people, over the course of 4 years, made counterfeit 5,000-won bills (which is the highest form of currency in North Korea), and 490 counterfeit gasoline-tickets and sold them to major cities and military bases.

Illegal drugs. A pharmacy school official was arrested for trying to make 500 grams of methamphetamine at his home. Another was arrested for buying 1kg of illegal drug at the border and selling it for profit.

Banned culture goods. One person used the CD-burner at home to burn CDs of South Korean videos and other foreign videos and sold them for money.

Other weird cases. 
An old man who hitchhiked on a truck decided to hide inside the coffin onboard because it was raining. When he put his hand out later to check if it was still raining, one of the boys on the truck thought the dead had come back alive, jumped off the truck and died.

A government official heard rumors that human brain cures mental illnesses and ordered his subordinates to find a brain, and the brains he received turned out later to be dog's brains.

A construction crew piled up 3 tons of cement and sand on the 4th floor of an apartment for reconstruction. The building couldn't take the weight and collapsed, killing 13 people.

One woman, who had given births to three girls, had another girl who was disabled. She decided to kill the infant by starving her to death, but she could not be punished because "killing of infants without a cruel and anti-society intent does not make the killer a criminal" according to North Korean legal interpretation.

Why this is significant overall
One expert on North Korea said, "an inside information of this broadness and comprehensiveness has never been released before. This proves that because of the severe famine and food crisis, a lot of incredibly weird and cruel things are happening in North Korea. This also shows that South Korean and other western cultures are invading North Korea in deeper levels than previously thought."

However, the authenticity of this report has not been confirmed yet. We'll see how this turns out, because if it is really genuine, I believe this will have some material impact on North Korean politics.

Sources :
 “북한 경비원 동료 인육 먹고 양고기로 속여 팔다 적발”
북한사회에 인육사건 실제로 있었다?

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