No Supplies for April 15th Party

Kim Kwang Jin  |  2013-04-16 01:10
Daily NK has learned that there was no special distribution of foods such as rice, oil and bottles of alcohol for many North Korean citizens on Monday, the anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birth. However, school-age children did reportedly receive their traditional supplies of cookies and snacks.

A source from northerly Hoiryeong in North Hamkyung Province reported by phone, “There’s been nothing other than candies and snacks for kids. Our people’s unit head told us that ‘the country is having a hard time so it cannot provide holiday distribution.’ This is the first time I can recall there being nothing on the Day of the Sun.”

The ‘Day of the Sun’ is the formal name for the April 15th commemoration of Kim Il Sung’s birth. In memory of the national founder, distribution is given to the people on the pretext of being “a gift from the nation’s leader” (be it Kim Jong Il, until 2011, or Kim Jong Eun, in the present day), thus building the reciprocal nature of the relationship between state and citizen. As such, it is rare for nothing whatsoever to be provided, making the current situation all the more surprising.

The source continued, “People appear to be shocked that the country is in such a condition that it cannot provide holiday supplies. They say that ‘all they have to do to raise a festive mood is give a drop of alcohol or some rice for making ‘ddeok’ (Korean-style rice cakes), but they can’t even manage that.’”

The source also noted that local markets were closed as of the afternoon of the 14th, exacerbating annoyance at the lack of state distribution. “No distribution and no trade,” she said. “There is no Day of the Sun atmosphere this year.”

“The authorities have opened up the No.2 Store (military grain supplies) in Yangkang Province and given out some grain to state employees like teachers and doctors, and some workers as well. But it seems that the more they provide normal distribution, so the more the special supplies must fall by the wayside," she added.

The source also noted that the disappointment at today’s lack of distribution has been muted by the fact that few people harbor great expectations of the state any more.
 
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2014.07.18
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