It is reported that some North Koreans are spending the frigid winter without heating because they cannot obtain coal and wood. Sources say that the main cause is the economic hardship caused by the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) rather than the actual material shortage.
A source from South Hamgyong Province said in a phone call with Daily NK on the 24th, “Some cities and rural villages in the province lack coal and wood for heating. .
According to a source, a survey conducted by the people’s committee of a certain county showed that about 18% of all households in the county had no heating. In this case, most of them were living in rural areas, the source explained, with some people living in townships.
It is known that the rate of using coal as a direct heating fuel in North Korea is not high. Instead, residents use boreholes made from a mixture of coal, water, and mud as their main heating fuel. It seems that residents who do not have coal are unable to manufacture hole coal.
The source said that more people are unable to obtain coal due to economic difficulties rather than material shortages.
The source said, “Currently, coal or briquettes are being sold in the market, but residents do not have money to buy them. ) is an important factor.”
He continued, “Families who cannot afford to buy coal to make a hole in the fire have to solve the heating problem with firewood or dry grass,” he said.
It is said that North Koreans are having a hard time finding substitutes for hole bombs.
Wood is the second most used heating fuel in North Korea after hole-burning. However, North Korea has recently revised the Forestry Act to strongly crack down on robbery by residents and businesses.
In particular, this revision of the Household Law reflects the will of Chairman Kim Jong-un for the greening project. For this reason, it is known that the level of crackdown and punishment for robbery is quite high.
It is likely that residents have been unable to obtain wood for heating in the mountains due to strong crackdowns and fears of punishment by the authorities.
From the point of view of the residents, they were placed on a slope where they could not find heating fuel anywhere.
Propane gas and petroleum, other heating fuels, are more expensive than coal and are used only in large cities. It is practically difficult for residents who are experiencing economic hardship to use it. In addition, heating using electricity is not easy in North Korea, which is suffering from a chronic electricity shortage.
On the other hand, many households in North Korea have both heating and cooking, so a shortage of heating fuel may cause problems with cooking.
Source: DailyNK by www.dailynk.com.
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