The body of a murdered 60-year-old man was recently discovered on a street in North Korea’s Ryanggang Province (Samsu County).
According to inside sources, the man was riding his bicycle on his way back home from a field when his bike was taken from him and he was struck on the back of the head with a rock. He appears to have died from the attack within a short period.
“The attacker was bold enough to commit the murder, then propped the man’s body up against a nearby tree, before fleeing on the stolen bicycle,” an inside source from Ryanggang Province reported to Daily NK in a telephone interview on September 14.
The North Korean authorities have allegedly done little to investigate the grisly crime. “Without even collecting testimonies or investigating the scene of the crime, officers of the Ministry of People’s Security [MPS, North Korea’s police] have simply said, ‘Catching criminals is difficult,’” he reported.
According to a separate source in Ryanggang Province, family members of the victim have reacted by saying that of the victim was a Party cadre, the MPS would have done everything in their power to catch the perpetrator, but because he was just an ordinary person, “they don’t even care.”
Crime is rampant in North Korea due to a confluence of factors, including economic stagnation, widening socioeconomic stratification, and poor policing.
Daily NK recently reported on a similar story detailing a failure of MPS officers to perform their duty. In the previous case, an individual in North Hamgyong Province submitted a domestic abuse report. The officer in charge declined to intervene.
Both sources told Daily NK that arguments are said to be breaking out frequently due to the state’s inability to maintain law and order.
“Last year,” the first source said, “there was a fight that resulted in the death of a resident somewhere in the pine forests of Ryanggang and Jagang Provinces. People are worried that more of these kinds of fights will break out in the fields.”