Women of Hoiryeong Should Not Go out at Night

Daily NK
Lee Sung Jin

A source inside North Korea reported on the 22nd of November that all sorts of crime are rampant in Hoiryeong of North Hamkyung Province, and locals, especially women are so afraid that they dare not go outside at night.

The source said, “At meetings of people’s units, locals received instructions not to go out late at night and women were especially advised to get back home not too late.” The source added, “Most crimes are committed by soldiers who have been posted to Hoiryeong for construction work.

Since early this year, the North Korean authorities have been carrying out apartment building construction and road expansion work in Hoiryeong under the project named “Embellishing Mother’s Hometown.” Hoiryeong is known as the birthplace of Kim Jong Suk, Kim Jong Il’s mother.

This year celebrates the 90th anniversary of Kim Jong Suk’s birth, and many construction projects are being proceeded under the slogan, ‘‘Let’s invite our benevolent general to Hoiryeong.’’ Last year in November, a mosaic mural depicting Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il was installed in both Poongsan-ri and Daedeuk-ri in Hoiryeong.

Early May, the nation’s new prime minister Kim Yong Il visited Hoiryeong by train. His train was loaded with glass and cement, and the minister delivered the construction material to Hoiryeong’s people’s committee, leaving a message saying, “Hoiryeong is the birthplace of Kim Jong Suk. Clean up and embellish the entire city.”

As the authorities started carrying out the extensive construction work in Hoiryeong, it needed more labor power. Starting with last month, the state began to bring construction units of the People’s Army into the city for the expansion and pavement works of the road between Hoiryeong-Chongjin. It is the solders of these construction units who are responsible for ongoing violent crimes such as rape and plunder occurring in Hoiryeong

The source said, “Ever since those soldiers came to Hoiryeong, the city has been afflicted with many incidents and crime, all of which concern the city’s party committee to great extents.” The source said, “Even though October is the harvest season, there is not enough corn left for harvest in many cornfields around construction sites.”

What is worse, many households are being sacked by the soldiers, and local residents cannot leave home empty even for a moment, the source said.

The city’s party committee is casting suspicion on the soldiers. However, it cannot recklessly push for an investigation against the soldiers because the committee lacks hard evidence and the army has gotten too powerful over the years.

“A few days ago, there was an incident where a soldier broke into a house, raped a twenty-two-year old woman, and ran away,” the source said. “In order to protect themselves from the soldiers, each community has placed a guard at its people’s unit guard post twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and made sure that the guard reports to the People’s Safety Agency in case an incident takes place.”

Individuals who go to a night market and females who get back home from the market late at night are particularly vulnerable. The Safety Agency of Hoiryeong has decided to increase the number of patrols and ordered the locals to organize their own securities in their areas, the source said.

A defector who came to the South in 2006 said, “People used to admire the People’s Army. Nowadays, the Army is treated as a gang of thieves.” The defector said, “The army behaves highhandedly, and there are always conflicts in the areas around army bases.”


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