North Korea has faced severe floods during the monsoon which hit the country hard. To meet food shortages, poor pooches are facing the brunt.
Pets, especially dogs, are lovable friends to humans. Sometimes, people adore their furry friends more than humans, and losing them is equally, if not more, difficult. However, not everyone understands that. In an unprecedented move, North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un has ordered that the pet dogs in the capital, Pyongyang, should be rounded up as they are a sign of "capitalism."
The dictator said that dogs represent Western "decadence" but dog owners fear that their pooches are instead going to be consumed as the nation reels from food shortages. The 36-year-old leader of North Korea issued the directive in July that dogs should be confiscated from their owners as they are "a 'tainted' trend by bourgeois ideology," a source told the English edition of Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper.
"Authorities have identified households with pet dogs and are forcing them to give them up or forcefully confiscating them and putting them down," the source said, adding, "ordinary people raise pigs and livestock on their porches, but high-ranking officials and the wealthy own pet dogs, which stoked some resentment" among the lower classes. The dogs are being sold to zoos or restaurants for meat, the source told the newspaper.
Dog meat is a delicacy on the Korean peninsula but it is on the way out in South Korea. However, almost one million dogs are reared for consumption each year in South Korea, according to the Daily Mail.
The current decision came about in the North after a series of natural disasters and the pandemic worsened the already struggling economic situation. There are a bunch of dog meat restaurants in the capital and it is especially popular in the summer since it is believed that it improves strength and stamina. The Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported that the dog owners are "cursing Kim Jong-un behind his back" because they can't do anything but comply. Defying the orders from the authorities can be seen as defying the leader himself and the punishment for that can be severe.
The middle class in the capital were shocked at the new rule since having pets was encouraged since the 1989 World Festival of Youth and Students. The country wanted to give a fresh shot to its image and show itself going towards economic prosperity. The North Korean rich started keeping pets to show off their status in the country after that.
Even in October 2018, the dictator had gifted two "pungsan" indigenous hunting dogs to Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president. The "peace puppies" were a symbol of a growing friendship between the two nations. However, North Korea had even then demanded that dog owners pay a tax by giving up their dog's fur to be turned into apparels for the foundation of the Workers' Party.
The current missive just adds to Kim Jong-un's negative image even when he opened up his personal grain reserves to feed the nation, which was battered by floods. The country, which relies heavily on agriculture and food supplies from China, has been facing a shortage on both accounts. Their border with China is closed to stop the spread of the virus, and flooding in July has inundated thousands of acres of land. Almost 100,000 acres of agricultural land have been inundated, whereas nearly 17,000 homes and more than 600 public buildings were destroyed.
The country has refused aid from other nations even though thousands were displaced from their homes by the severe floods recently. The country's leaders were worried that aid workers would bring the virus with them, according to Evening Standard. They are also facing reduced trade with China and have been hit hard by UN economic sanctions for their nuclear weapons program.
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/north-korea-pet-dogs-hand-over-restaurant-a4526856.htmlDisclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.