Farmer smuggler from S. Pyongan province arrested for anti-socialist behavior

A rural area in South Pyongan Province (Daily NK)

A resident of Pyongwon County in South Pyongan Province was arrested by a North Korean task force monitoring anti-socialist behavior for the unauthorized production and sale of alcohol during the peak trading season in early April. .

Pure Brightness Day, the fifth of Korea’s traditional agricultural festivals, falls on April 5, and Sun Day, Kim Il Sung’s birthday and North Korea’s most important holiday, falls on April 15. .

A source from South Pyongan Province told Daily NK on April 25 that a collective farm worker named Kim in Yanghwa Village, Pyongwon County was arrested on April 4 by the group of anti-socialist work. Kim had apparently provided restaurants in town with a large amount of alcohol, including beer and rice wine, which he had prepared himself for Day of Pure Brightness and Day of Sunshine.

Individual traffickers are said to have produced and sold alcohol in the hope of heavy booze sales in early to mid-April, given the holidays that occur at that time.

One of these traffickers was Kim, the collective farm worker, who had become famous for producing a huge amount of alcohol for distribution to various liquor suppliers in the county. On April 4, he was loading liquor onto shelves when he was apprehended by the Anti-Socialist Task Force, the source told Daily NK.

During a subsequent raid of Kim’s house, the task force found and confiscated all the rice wine and beer that were awaiting delivery. Authorities also reportedly seized two tons of corn that Kim had purchased and stored as raw material for smuggling alcohol.

In their investigation, authorities learned that Kim had started smuggling in order to support her son, who had suffered from malnutrition in the army. The son eventually caught tuberculosis and was discharged for hardship. Kim gradually increased the scale of his smuggling as he needed more money to cover his son’s treatment.

“He was a very hardworking man. He would diligently perform his duties on the farm during the day, then brew liquor and feed the pigs in the evenings to provide financial stability for his family. He also had a good reputation with other farm workers, who depended on him financially,” the source explained.

But unlicensed alcohol production is strictly prohibited as a waste of grain in North Korea, which faces chronic food shortages.

The North Korean government views this smuggling as a form of treason and continues the unauthorized production and sale of alcohol while reminding the public of the ban through proclamations issued annually. The crime has been dealt with even more harshly in recent years since the food crisis worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Anti-Socialist Task Force punished this individual as a leader in anti-socialist behavior and denounced his behavior as ‘gross betrayal’ for turning grain into moonshine at a time when people are starving by lack of grit,” the source said.

North Korean authorities reportedly turned over the alcohol they confiscated from Kim to state grocery stores and transported the two tons of corn to a state-run food management facility.

Translated by David Carruth. Edited by Robert Lauler.

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