Food situation in Ryanggang Province

According to the Daily NK, many mid-level civil servants who used to receive enough rations to live on have now resorted to trading in the markets with the civilians.

“Since April, the government has only been giving out provisions to the head of each department of the People’s Safety Agency in Hyesan, Yangkang Province. As for the remaining staff, only 15-days worth of one-serving provisions have been supplied. The discontent among the agents of the People’s Safety Agency over the discrimination is quite significant.”

“With conditions worstening, those who have not been engaging in sales until now—the Provincial People’s Committee or the Municipal Committee leaders and average schoolteachers, doctors and their families—have been coming out to the alleyway markets. They do not even have a street-stand in a jangmadang, so they sit illegally in the alleyways, but the People’s Safety agents in charge of regulating the jangmadang have been reluctant to take action against them because they know who these people are.”

Is anyone starving?  Thankfully, it seems not yet..

In response to the question as to whether people have begun to starve to death as a result of the food shortage, the sources confirmed, “We have not reached that point yet.”

Our contact in Yangkang Province said, “During the ‘March of Starvation’, we did not even have brewers’ grains to eat, but now, people feed that to the pigs. It is true that living conditions have become a bit more difficult with the rise in food prices, but it has not reached the point of starvation.”

The Hoiryeong source also said, “With the significant rise in food price, the quality and the amount of rice have fallen quite a bit, but people have not been starving for days at a time. People who previously consumed only rice are now mixing rice and corn 50/50, and those in more dire situations eat 30/70 or 20/80.”  

The food situation in Ryanggang is probably better then most of the country on average due to its proximity to the Chinese border.

The full story can be read here:
The Price of Rice Has Risen, But Not to the Point of Starvation
Daily NK
4/22/2008
Lee Sung Jin

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