North Korea Today No. 245 - Nov 2008

News and Press Release
Originally published
Plenary Meeting, Provincial Party of South Hamgyong Province, Declares "Get Thoroughly Ready For World Wide Food Crisis"

On October 16, South Hamgyong Province held a plenary meeting attended by all the city and county party secretaries, chairmen of People's Assemblies, chairmen of Farm Management Commission, heads of Security Agencies. Its main discussion topic was "We should get thoroughly ready for the world wide food crisis." Items emphasized: Firstly, harvest should be done in such a manner that even a grain may not be wasted. Secondly, some party leaders tend to have big feasts for weddings and funerals. All the wasteful practices should be stopped and simple ceremonies should be observed. Thirdly, all the authorities in security matters should reinforce their efforts to protect food storage from thefts. All the farmers on guard duties should be selected among the honest and the faithful. They concluded the meeting with a resolution that preparation for next year's agricultural activities should begin immediately.

Security Agencies, South Hamgyung Province Reinforce Punishments Regarding Thefts of Crop

All the regional authorities in security matters in South Hamgyong Province decided to reinforce the legal punishments concerning the security of the farms in response to the provincial plenary meeting. Police department of Hamju County repeatedly emphasized in its instructions to the farm guards that not even a grain should not be lost from the farms. Its instructions were that if any residents from Hamheung or other areas are caught stealing corn or rice plants, they should be expelled from the farms or sent to the training centers. The instructions threatened that if the culprit is a member of a farm, he would be sent to a discipline center, in addition to deducting 50 kg to 100 kg of food from the distribution to the farm. People whisper that these instructions merely indicate that the food situation is so serious and that next year's situation seems so obvious.

Nation Wide Efforts to Secure Electricity Needed For Harvest

As part of nation wide efforts to secure the electricity for harvest, the electricity distribution has been temporarily suspended to all the institutions, enterprises and factories. On October 20, all the farms of Shingye County, North Hwanghae Province declared that the electric supply to all the factories, enterprises and institutions would be suspended in order to secure electricity needed for harvest for the time being.

Residents Lament over the Policy, "Assure Military Provisions By All Means"

General Bureau of Political Affairs of People's Army submitted a report to the Central Party concerning the state of food supply in the nation on October 19. This report was assembled by the Rear Support Beureau of Ministry of People's Armed Force. Upon receiving the report, Central Party issued the policy to "assure military provisions by all means this year. In response to the policy, all the county and city party secretaries and administration leaders passed a resolution that they will accomplish the apportioned military provisions under any circumstances even if the farmers may end up receiving less food." This news disappointed many farmers and caused lamentations that their chances of survival seem so bleak. The farmers look worried over their survival during winter because they experience no better food situation even during the harvest season.

To Fire Leaders Who Fail To Accomplish Planned Military Provisions

It was the stern instructions from the provincial party that made all the county and city secretaries of South Pyongan Province show their enthusiasm toward accomplishing the planned military provisions. South Pyongan Province threatened that all the county and city party secretaries, chairmen of People's Assemblies, chairmen of Farming Management Commission and managers of Farm Management Council will be reviewed and criticized if they fail in accomplishing the planned military provisions. They will be fired if severity of failure is shown in the review process. South Pyongan Province repeatedly emphasized that all the county and city parties should execute the plan for the military provisions "without an inch of error."

Members of Hoeryong Democratic Women's Sign Written Promise, "I Will Absolutely Not Steal Food"

Members of Hoeryong Democratic Women's Union signed written promise, "I will neither waste food nor will I steal food" during a meeting to discuss on the topic, "Never Waste Food." Even with these promises, as soon as the members return home, they traded 7 or 8 corns on the cob with a bottle of liquor, or 5 or 6 corns on the cob with a block of bean curd. Making liquor is an example of wasting food. Anyone who wastes food is supposed to be sent to a discipline center. However, police authorities look the other way because they received bribery from the members of DWU. Even the DWU leaders often make threats in meetings set up to fight for ideology, but they seem to run out of options.

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