(Photo) In North Korea, fortune-tellers are subject to criminal punishment. This is because worship of anything other than the Kim clan is strictly prohibited. This photograph, taken in summer 2013, shows a political ideology rally held near a provincial city (ASIAPRESS)

According to a reporting partner from Ryanggang Province, fortune-telling is becoming increasingly popular in North Korea, where economic difficulties are becoming ever more serious due to the effect of the coronavirus.

In North Korea, fortune-telling, in addition to all religious activity, is considered to be a ‘superstition’ and is against the law. According to Article 256 of the Criminal Code (revised in 2015), those who receive money or valuables in exchange for engaging in ‘superstitious behavior’ can be sentenced to forced labor for up to 1 year. In serious cases, offenders can even face 3-7 years in prison.

In recent years, with intensified crackdowns, ‘public denouncement rallies’ have been held across the country, with hundreds of residents being mobilized to watch offenders be condemned for their crimes. Despite the dangers, fortune-tellers are thriving in the current atmosphere of anxiety. This phenomenon is explained by the reporting partner in the conversation below:
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