According to South Korea’s spy agency, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered people to be executed to keep the pandemic and related economic consequences under control. The agency also reported that the country banned fishing at sea and entirely locked down the capital city of Pyongyang.
South Korean lawmaker Ha Tae-keung, quoted the NIS as saying Kim is displaying “excessive anger” and taking “irrational measures” over the pandemic and its economic impact, NBC News reported.
North Korea Executed Coronavirus Rule-Breaker, Says South Korean Intelligence https://t.co/MBRZpxCiQM
— SeaRose (@Psyched55) November 27, 2020
He said that the agency told lawmakers that Kim has also executed a high-profile banker last month because he was displeased by a falling interest rate in the country.
Others have been executed for violating government restrictions on goods brought from abroad, even high ranking officials.
Pyongyang and the northern Jagang province were recently placed under lockdown due to concerns over the virus spreading. T
hey have also been attempting to hack other countries who are working on a coronavirus vaccine, at least one of those attacks were detected on a South Korean pharmaceutical company.
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 27, 2020
The North Korean government continues to tell the rest of the world that they have not seen a single case of the virus on its soil. Despite these claims, the country has taken significant steps to accommodate the pandemic, including closing its border with China, its biggest trading partner.
In the first ten months of this year, North Korea’s trade with China has been 25% of what it was last year, and the price of sugar and seasoning has shot up four times.
Earlier this year, reports indicated that the North Korean government ordered the confiscation of pet dogs in response to a massive food shortage brought on by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Things were already very difficult for the country due to economic sanctions from the west, but cutting trade with China by so much has had disasterous consequences.
Kim Jong-un has reportedly said that owning pet dogs is a sign of “western decadence” and that only rich people have dogs. Temporary dog bans are actually a fairly common occurrence in North Korea. There have been various bans on dogs in the country since the 1980s, typically during difficult economic times like these.
According to the United Nations, things are currently so bad in North Korea that many families are starving and some can only afford one meal a day.
An estimated 10 million North Koreans or 40% of its population are facing malnutrition, UN spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said at a recent press conference in Geneva.
Dog meat is considered to be a delicacy in North Korea so the idea of using these animals for food is not incredibly unusual, especially during times of economic hardship.