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Report: North Korea Seizing Pet Dogs To Combat Food Shortage

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A new report says North Korea is rounding up pet dogs amid food shortages that are impacting the country.

In June, Tomas Ojea Quintana, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, warned of “widespread food shortages and malnutrition” due to a months-long border closure with China and measures to limit the coronavirus, according to Reuters.

“An increasing number of families eat only twice a day, or eat only corn, and some are starving,” he said in a statement.

The Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper, said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un placed a ban on pet ownership in July, calling it “decadence” and  “a ‘tainted’ trend by bourgeois ideology.”

But that’s not the real game, the report said, indicating the dogs are being killed to address food issues.

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“Authorities have identified households with pet dogs and are forcing them to give them up or forcefully confiscating them and putting them down,” the newspaper quoted an unidentified source as saying.

Some dogs are sold to dog meat restaurants, the source said.

Pet owners are “cursing Kim Jong Un behind his back” but can’t do much about the practice, the source said.

Unlike in the United States, where pets are everywhere, pet dogs are rare in North Korea, the report said.

Does this make you detest North Korea even more?

“Ordinary people raise pigs and livestock on their porches, but high-ranking officials and the wealthy own pet dogs, which stoked some resentment,” the report’s source is quoted as saying.

The new report runs in the same vein as one from July published in the Daily NK.

“The authorities have ordered that officials in several areas of the country, including Pakchon County, buy up dogs weighing 15 kilograms or larger and send them to Pyongyang,” the Daily NK quoted a source it did not name as saying.

The source said dog meat is to be supplied to 36 specific restaurants.

“The government didn’t pay for the dogs with cash,” the Daily NK quoted its source as saying. “Local party officials promised they would pay the dog owners with a certificate guaranteeing them rice or Chinese-made [cooking] oil by Oct. 10.”

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The source said dog owners complied “because they thought it would be better than selling the dogs to local restaurants at low prices.”

Twitter was revolted at the new report.

In its reporting about the forced dog collection, the Brussels Times explained why the policy makes sense from a North Korean standpoint.

“By confiscating the dogs, Kim Jong Un hits two birds with one stone: He destroys a live symbol for economic inequality and simultaneously contributes to solving the food crisis,” the newspaper reported.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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