The reporting partner elaborated, “Some people pile stones along the waterfront to mark the site as a place for mourning. But many people have lost their family and ancestral tombs, so there are fewer people paying respects to the dead. At Chuseok, relatives gathered and prepared food and drinks to pay respect to their ancestors but they had no place to do so- the tombs are gone.”

According to the reporting partner, many people still feel resistant to cremations. Young people are concerned that people will lose affection for their deceased relatives once tombs are removed for cremations. In addition, many elderly people are afraid of cremation.

The reporting partner explained, “Since the old days, criminals were the ones who got cremated. Cremations were seen as dying twice. Ancestors were buried in order to put their spirits to rest. People believe it’s not good for the living either, as the souls are left to wander after cremation. The elderly wish for their families to bury them somehow, even if they have to go deep into the mountains to do so.”

Editor’s notes on North Korean reporters

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