If life in North Korea wasn’t hard enough already, get-togethers involving drinking, singing or other forms of entertainment have been banned, according to South Korea’s spy agency.
The North Korean regime has been strengthening measures to control the isolated nation’s general population in response to stiffening sanctions, said the National Intelligence Service (NIS) during a parliamentary briefing in Seoul on Nov. 20, reported South Korean news agency Yonhap.
“(Pyongyang) has devised a system whereby party organs report people’s economic hardships on a daily basis, and it has banned any gatherings related to drinking, singing, and other entertainment and is strengthening control of outside information,” the NIS said.
The spy agency said that the regime under Kim Jong Un is aiming to avert any adverse impacts that increased international sanctions may be having on the sentiments of North Koreans. The rogue state has been subjected to toughening sanctions imposed by the international community after a series of provocative moves that included its sixth and most powerful nuclear weapon test on Sept. 3.
The NIS briefing also reported on an inspection of a key military institution by Choe Ryong Hae, the vice chairman of the Central Committee of the state’s ruling Workers’ Party, due to its “impure attitude” and how its top officials were punished as a result.
The report’s findings add further detail to what 25 million North Koreans have to deal with under the regime of Kim Jong Un.
Last week, media coverage about the physical welfare of a North Korean soldier who fled across the 2.5 mile-wide demilitarised zone also gave an indication of living conditions in the country.
The soldier, aged in his mid-20s, was shot multiple times as he attempted to flee to the South.
South Korean doctors tending to his wounds said he was filled with parasitic worms. Following an operation on the wounded man, lead surgeon Lee Cook Jong displayed photos of some of the parasites that were inside him including one that was 10.6 inches long, reported Reuters.
“In my over 20-year long career as a surgeon, I have only seen something like this in a textbook,” Lee said.
Food Insecurity and Undernutrition
While the vast majority of North Koreans suffer from food insecurity and undernutrition, the state spends more than 20 percent of its gross domestic product on its military.
An estimated 18 million of the country’s overall 25 million people are dependent on government food rations, said a United Nations report released earlier this year. Over a third of North Koreans (10.5 million people) are believed to be undernourished, said the U.N.
Human Rights Watch describes North Korea as one of the most repressive authoritarian states in the world. For seven decades, it has been dominated by the Kim family and the Worker’s Party of Korea.
U.S. President Donald Trump placed North Korea back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism on Nov. 20.
Think your friends may not know about this? Share it on Facebook and you will help keep them up to date and help us earn the ad revenue we need to keep reporting. Thank you!