Random passersby forced to work on farms in North Korea
North Korea’s severe drought has led to a myriad of agricultural issues and the country is now in the midst of a “drought battle” to combat the effects of the dry spell. The country is also facing a lack of farm labor and the authorities are reportedly resorting to apprehending people on the streets and sending them to the farms, in what amounts to state-sanctioned forced labor.
“A temporary sentry post was established on the road near a farm recently and the guards are stopping passersby and forcing them to work on the farm,” a South Pyongan Province-based source told Daily NK.
While the “drought battle” began a little more than a month ago as part of efforts to encourage more factory workers to work on the farms, a severe shortage of labor persists. Officials now appear to be hauling random people off the street to work on irrigation projects on the farms.
“The county People’s Committee and local police station worked together to establish the sentry post,” said the source. “People’s Committee cadres and local police are manning it.” The central government has lauded those sites taking the initiative to complete their agricultural duties despite the drought and local officials appear to be thinking creatively as a result.
In an article entitled “Taking Action to Prevent Drought-induced Crop Damage,” the state-run Rodong Sinmun reported on June 15 that municipal and county organizations and farming authorities must “beat the drought” by mobilizing everything at their disposal. ......