North-Korean elites have been forced to give up their pet dogs as they symbolise "western decadence," South-Korean newspapers report, and to salvage food scarcity.
In the country, dogs are kept mostly by elite figures who can afford the luxury, as they signal superiority. According to the supreme leader, this practice leads to social dissatisfaction and should be seen as a trend tainted by bourgeois ideology.
The story was reported by one of South Korea’s oldest newspapers, the Chosun Ilbo. It must be noted that North and South Korea have remained at war since June 1950, and Chosun Ilbo is known to be generally sceptical of the country’s northern neighbour.
“Authorities have identified households with pet dogs and are forcing them to give them up or forcefully confiscating them and putting them down,” according to one of Chosun Ilbo’s sources. “Some of them are then taken to state-run zoos, or sold to dog meat restaurants.”
According to the newspaper, the move comes amid rising civil unrest over the declining economy, the Covid-19 pandemic and recent heavy floods.
By confiscating the dogs, Kim Jong-Un hits two birds with one stone: he destroys a live symbol for economic inequality and simultaneously contributes to solving the food crisis.
The Daily NK, a South Korean newspaper reporting on North Korea based on a network of informants from the North, published a similar story in July. Sources told the Daily NK that all dogs over 15 kg were bought up to supply Pyongyang restaurants with meat. Owners received a certificate rather than money, which will allow them to be reimbursed with oil and rice on 10 October.
Serving dog meat has been a declining trend in South Korea, but the dish remains popular in China and North Korea. North Korea's capital has multiple restaurants specialising in dogs.
According to the Daily Mail, the UN recently reported that up to 60% of North-Korea’s population of 25.5 million currently suffers from a shortage of food.
The Brussels Times