North Korea’s sudden nuclear test on Friday has already
triggered voices of concern within the North regarding the likelihood of
intensified sanctions from the international community and ensuing hardships.
The fifth test comes at a time when there are already complaints about recent
instability in market prices, and blame is turning toward the regime’s nuclear
“Many are angry and commenting that rather than improving
their lives, the development of nuclear weapons only makes things more
difficult because of sanctions,” a source from North Hamgyong Province told
Daily NK in a telephone conversation on Friday. “On top of all this, the year’s harvest
has been poor and people are already worrying about next year’s food
Complaints this time around are not only emanating from
members of the public. The source reported that some Party cadres are also in
disagreement, as it is common knowledge that each nuclear test costs the
equivalent of millions of tons of rice.
The prospects of even stronger sanctions from the
international community are increasingly likely in light of Pyongyang’s latest
test, leading to the belief that it will also impact people’s livelihoods.
While Kim Jong Un continues his drive to build up a strong military in order to
secure stability for the regime, the people of North Korea remain focused on
day to day survival, which is why the country’s nuclear development program is
receiving greater criticism from the North Korean people.
Meanwhile, a source in Ryanggang Province (neighboring North
Hamgyong Province, where the test was carried out) relayed accounts from
individuals who felt the effects of the test. “People said that while visiting
the victory memorial tower for the Pochonbo Battle in Hyesan to lay down flowers
for the 68th Foundation Day, they suddenly felt tremors. They were initially in
disbelief, but that turned to shock when they heard the nuclear test
announcement later,” he explained.
The Ryanggang-based source noted that following the first
and second nuclear tests, many cheered and praised the General [Kim Jong Il]
when the announcements were made. Following today’s test however, not only is
there a lack of celebration, people are more worried than anything about the
looming possibility of life getting more difficult.