Brutal Murder of Student in Hyesan

An elementary school student from Masun 2-dong in Hyesan has been found murdered and mutilated near Hyesan Mine, according to a source from Yangkang Province.

The Daily NK source delivered the shocking news on Saturday by telephone from North Korea. He also provided the criminal’s identity and nature of the investigation, which The Daily NK has since done its best to corroborate with other sources from the area. Most of the story has been confirmed.

The victim’s name is Lee Gwang Sun, a boy from Masun Elementary School. Lee was apparently abducted on July 1st while en route home from school for lunch, and was found dead on a construction site near Hyesan Mine the following morning.

Lee’s body was mutilated when found; leading officials to suspect that the murderer either had a personal grudge against the victim or had mental problems. However, nobody had an obvious grudge against the family, according to the source. The boy’s father is the commander of a reserve battalion in the 82nd Regiment of Hyesan 10th Corps, and his mother runs a small business in Masan jangmadang.

It only took two days to find the culprit. On July 3rd, Hyesan security forces apprehended one Jung Geum Chul, 45, a forestry official, basing their arrest on a witness statement.

The people of Hyesan apparently presume that Jung will face public execution if and when he is convicted.

While the detailed investigation into the case has yet to be completed, it is rumored that the murderer had been without food for four days, while his wife and daughter had been away for more than a week in search of food. When arrested, he was apparently incoherent from hunger.

However, there are other possible motivations, including anger at societal ills. Jung reportedly expressed strong antagonism against the nouveau riche during his interrogation. Most of all, his anger was targeted at Ju, an affluent Hyesan resident who turned a request for food from Jung down. Ju apparently donates 10 tons of pork to the military annually.

Jung apparently told investigators, “I cannot even eat corn, but Ju feeds corn to his pigs. I asked to borrow some of the corn that he feeds to his pigs, but he refused.”

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