■ Kim Jong-un orders senior officials to restore forests
According to a reporting partner, “When Kim Jong-un saw that there were no trees on the mountainside and that the land was being used for small-scale farming, he ordered that the mountains be planted with trees regardless of whether or not it could be used for growing grain. Many people are now worried that the practice of mountainside farming will be banned entirely.”
North Korea is frequently damaged by yearly floods due to extreme deforestation. Though there have been crackdowns on small-scale mountainside farming since Kim Jong-un rose to power in 2012, the practice has secretly continued due to extensive bribery. Local residents are concerned, however, that the current crackdown may bring an end to small-scale farming altogether.
Kim Jong-un recently dismissed South Hamgyong Province’s Workers’ Party chairman, citing his failure to mitigate the risk of flood damage. As such, party officials across the country are under extreme pressure to follow Kim Jong-un’s example by taking direct control of all flood recovery efforts at local construction sites.
Kim Jong-un mobilized personnel from the Workers’ Party in Pyongyang to work on recovery efforts in flood-stricken efforts. But are these forces now working in Musan County? The reporting partner answered thusly:
“Though it has been announced that the Pyongyang Workers’ Party Construction Brigade was sent to North Hamgyong Province, where Kim Jong-un personally visited, the majority of the people working on the restoration in Musan County are locally mobilized laborers.”
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