Kim Jong-un PANIC: North Korean city alarmed about the lockdown of the food industry

In the North Korean provincial city of North Hamgyong, travel between districts has been banned as an “emergency measure”. Now Chongjin residents are complaining that the market closure has affected their stores and their ability to cook kimchi, a Korean dish made with cabbage. Kim Jong-un has taken tough measures to prevent the coronavirus from spreading, despite the country claiming it has not reported a single case of the virus.

A source in North Hamgyong Province told NK daily that Chongjin residents have been banned from traveling between districts in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

They claimed that loudspeaker vehicles operated by the local authorities’ propaganda department had been sighted daily since mid-November.

Vehicles have sent a message to residents warning: “As the infectious disease is spreading, residents are not allowed to leave their own district for any reason.”

As a result of the lockdown, Chongjin residents have complained that they cannot prepare kimchi “because they cannot buy ingredients.”

READ MORE: North Korea hits province with brutal food price hike after coronavirus lockdown

The source claimed that patrols guarding carts have disappeared, despite the high point of kimchi season when residents make supplies of the dish for the winter.

They added, “Every year around this time, Chongjin residents make kimchi with cabbage brought to the surrounding farms or farmers’ private gardens, or with cabbage that has been smuggled in from China, but this year they can don’t even think about making kimchi with distribution [of goods] stopped and cabbage prices rise ”.

North Korean households had to pay five times as much for cabbage amid the pandemic, with most poor residents unable to afford the vital stock.

Grain prices have also risen in Hyesan, Yanggang Province, and local authorities have been forced to impose strict price controls on food and goods.

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, North Korean authorities have closed markets in Chongjin, forcing sellers to constantly relocate their trade.

The source added, “With markets closed for the time being, locals have moved to the banks of the Susong River near Sunam Market to trade their goods.

“Even then, security guards and patrols kick them out so they sell their wares on the go.”

Locals are reportedly angry at the restrictions, saying that authorities “should give them a livelihood even if they try to control the infectious disease” and “everyone will starve to death at this rate”.

Kim Jong-un tearfully apologized to North Korea during the ruling Labor Party’s 75th anniversary parade about the troubles caused by the coronavirus pandemic, including its impact on food supplies.

In October he said: “Our people have put their trust in me as high as the sky and as deep as the sea, but I have not always fulfilled it satisfactorily. I am really sorry.

“Although I have an important responsibility to lead this country, to support the cause of great comrades Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, thanks to the trust of all people, my efforts and my sincerity have not been sufficient to win ours free people with the difficulties in their life. “

Food supplies for North Koreans are usually imported from China, but the border between the nations was closed in February to ensure the coronavirus does not spread to the country.

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Dozens of North Koreans were killed while laying land mines on the border between the country and China.

Radio Free Asia reported a source in the country that Kim Jong-un authorities had “not given adequate training to the soldiers who laid the mines.”

Authorities have told residents not to talk about the incident, and the source alleged the mines were intended more to prevent the exodus from North Korea.

Typhoons have also impacted North Korea’s food supplies as several acres of produce were destroyed by unusually severe storms earlier this year.

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