North Korea Today No. 242 - Oct 2008

News and Press Release
Originally published


"Income vs. Expenses" Investigation Is Underway in Pyongyang City's Seongyo District

The Anti-Socialism Activities Investigation Patrol is directing its investigative efforts in Seongyo District of Pyongyang City, a few days after the conclusion of its investigation in the Central District. Though Seongyo District is not as well off as Central District, it has many returnees from Japan as its residents similar to Dongdaewon District and Daedong River District. The investigation is focusing on those households that have discrepancies between their income and expenses. Transgressors with houses worth more than 3,000 dollars had it confiscated; and about 10 families have been exiled to the countryside. Anyone who had lived outside of the country or handled foreign currencies received further scrutiny.

The patrol asked, "How much was your monthly income and expenses when you were living in the foreign country?", "How and from where did you acquire all your possessions and wealth?" Some who recently sold their house in Central District and moved to the Seongyo District had to go under investigation for Central District again on October 20. The Party Organization and Guidance Department demanded, "Find out in full detail, how those who sold the most expensive houses in Pyongyang had come up with the money to buy them in the first place." On the other hand, the government is currently searching through every house in Pyongyang to see what sort of TVs and radios the residents have. The government seems to be on the edge because it knows that if a TV or radio were foreign made, in spite of the interference waves sent out by the government, it would have receptions for some foreign programs.

People's Trial for Drug Offenders in Hamheung City

On the morning of October 17, Hamheung city in South Hamgyong Province held People's Trial for eight drug offenders. That day, six received life sentences and two were sentenced to 11 years in re-education centers.

Households from Hoeyang County in Kangwon Province, awarded for supporting the troops

On October 16, Kangwon Province's Hoeyang County passed on a certificate of appreciation and awards to a household that exemplified supporting the troops. A household that gave eight pigs each year received a color TV, a blanket and some tableware. A different household that showed much support for the troops, though not to the degree of giving up eight pigs a year, received a blanket and some tableware. At the award ceremony, the county party secretary and the head of people's assembly delivered the prizes and certificates.

Security Investigation during the Month of October along the National Border Area

The Anti-Socialism Activities Investigation along the national border area, which started on September 1, has been extended to the Police Stations and the Security Agency. In previous investigations, when the police or security officers committed a minor mistake, they usually received criticism or re-examination of the mistake. However, in the investigation in Moosan County, they received stiff punishment such as discharge from the military even for minor infringements.

A Sharp Increase of Juvenile Crimes in Broad Daylight

The police in the South Pyongan Province are plagued by a sharp increase in juvenile crimes occurring even in broad daylight. Several juveniles in their late teens were arrested for a robbery with kitchen knives in Pyongsung city. Several people, in their early 20s, were also caught for beating a passerby with batons and taking away the victim's bicycle. In Soonchun city, the police are looking for teens who hit a passerby's head with rocks and robbed him of his bicycle. Pick pocketing that targets mostly female victims is rampant in Sinuiju in the North Pyongan Province. Crimes committed by teens have become a social issue because they are not just stopping with taking away money or belongings, but going a step further by beating people until bloodied or unconscious. Although the police and the security officers stake out at night and frequently patrol during the daytime, what they are doing is not enough to ease the worries of residents. Therefore, residents try to avoid secluded areas and are reluctant to go any place alone.

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