“In the new year, if a blockade order is issued, mass starvation may come.”

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Between the houses of a village on the border between North Korea and China, Yeongsaeng Pagoda and Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il mosaic murals stand out. /Photo = Courtesy of Dong-A University Professor Kang Dong-wan

In early November of last year, an order to blockade the city of Hyesan, Yanggang Province was issued. The blockade lasted for 20 days, and residents had to be locked up inside the house. For 20 days, residents had to endure hunger in the cold. Anyone who went out of the house after violating the act or order had to be taken to the training center and spent a hard time. (▶ Related article: Caught smuggling north soldier, Defecting armedHyesan City ‘20Work blockade)

A resident of Hyesan City, who contacted Daily NK on the 21st, recalled the situation at the time, saying, “At the time, the authorities had suddenly blocked the blockade.”

He continued, “I endured while watching Korean dramas and Chinese movies, but the food and corrosive matters were quite difficult,” he said. “People who did not stock up on food or firewood at home would have been very difficult.”

In addition, the North Korean authorities were said to have strictly controlled people entering and leaving their homes in violation of the blockade, and some were punished by sending them to training camps.

“There are cases where people who went out of the house for violating the blockade were punished,” said Lee. “A resident who inevitably left the house went to the training camp for a week.”

Since the blockade lasts only about 20 days, it seems that the residents were arbitrarily detained in a training camp without a proper trial.

Detention has been prevalent in North Korea according to arbitrary and arbitrary practices. There is a high possibility that the North Korean authorities are committing human rights violations, such as further controlling or detaining residents without due process on the pretext of preventing the new coronavirus infection (Corona 19).

In particular, some residents reportedly complained that the blockade was too far, even considering the Corona 19 incident.

This resident said, “Once the new coronavirus (virus) enters, our country (North Korea) cannot take care of it because there is no medical examination device and the conditions for treatment are not available. It was an excessive measure.”

He said, “It is difficult to prepare a blockade in advance because the general residents earn a day and live a day,” he said. “Preparing goods for the blockade is something that only some pig owners and executives can do.”

If the North Korean authorities unexpectedly impose a blockade on the grounds of Corona 19, the common people will have to suffer from severe cold and hunger again.

Regarding this, the residents said, “If the blockade comes down again in the new year, people’s lives will become more difficult.” Expressed.

On the other hand, it is reported that as the price of rice fell after the blockade, residents were breathing relief, saying that they were relieved of food worries.

The resident said, “After the lift of the blockade, the price of rice fell little by little, and we barely passed a rather difficult hurdle.” At one time, it was difficult because the price of rice soared.

According to this paper’s price survey, the price of rice in Hyesan temporarily increased after the blockade, but fell by about 15% (as of January 11) compared to the peak (as of November 28 of last year). (▶ Related article: Dollar exchange rate 6000won·Rice price 4000Circle collapseshaking north market)

Source: DailyNK by www.dailynk.com.

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