While North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been busy throwing lavish banquets, attending pop concerts and threatening to stage a nuclear weapons test aimed at the United States, reports have been surfacing that conditions are so terrible for his citizens that some have resorted to cannibalism in order to stay alive.
Anecdotes have been collected by a news agency called Asia Press, which works with a network of covert citizen journalists inside of the country and is considered to be credible. The news agency estimates that as many as 10,000 died last year due to a “hidden famine” in the North and South Hwanghae provinces.
North Korea has not acknowledged the famine or reported the deaths, but rather has reported a food surplus. The clandestine reports, however, tell a different story.
One informant described what he had seen in his village.
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“A man who killed his own two children and tried to eat them was executed by a firing squad,” he told Asia News. “While his wife was away on business he killed his eldest daughter and because his son saw what he had done, he killed his son as well. When the wife came home he offered her food, saying, ‘We have meat.’”
The wife, however, was suspicious and told authorities, who then found parts of his children’s bodies near their home.
Other reports include a grandfather digging up the remains of his grandchild to eat and a man killing 11 people and selling the meat as pork.
Kim Jong-un, 30, has been in power for about a year, but has shown no intention to change the country’s operations.