Daily NK Snapshots are synopses of select articles from our Korean website. Snapshots provide a window into the Daily NK’s reporting—domestic news items that are primarily intended for a North Korean audience given their lack of an independent, objective source of information—and into everyday life and society within North Korea for international audiences.
North Korean Authorities Monitor Individuals Quarantined in Their Homes
The central, province, city, and county emergency disease control commands as well as local hospitals and police stations have been tasked with enforcing the quarantine of lung disease patients, infectious disease patients, and people with a fever to their personal domiciles. North Korean authorities are monitoring and managing those subject to quarantine with a system in which teams of two individuals are dispatched in three shifts to oversee the quarantined and their families and to ensure that they do not leave their homes.
North Korean authorities have also designated violation of state-mandated quarantines as an act of treason against the state and thus meriting severe punishment. North Koreans have reportedly expressed the hope that international relief and support might be sent to aid with coronavirus containment efforts.
Full article in Korean by Ha Yoon Ah here.
North Korea’s 600mm MLRs Capable of Reaching Pyeongtaek
In response to a joint statement issued by the European members of the United Nations Security Council condemning North Korea’s latest missile tests on Mar. 2, the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs defended the tests as “routine drills” of a “multiple launch rocket system.” Sources inside the North Korean military report that 300-millimeter MLRs would ostensibly target Seoul and its surrounding areas with a range of 200-350 kilometers while 600-millimeter MLRs would reach Camp Humphreys and Osan Air Base (in Pyeongtaek, South Korea) and even U.S. military bases located in Japan.
Additionally, sources report that the North Korean military’s current long-term strategy eschews the firing of nuclear weapons at South Korea and is focused on the occupation of the South. Towards that end, the North Korean military is seeking to outfit its MLRs with neutron bombs, considered an effective weapon for occupation due to its ability to maximize lethal radiation while minimizing damage to buildings, roads, and other physical infrastructure. Sources report that the 300mm MRLs have already been deployed, and 600mm MRLs will be able to be deployed within a year’s time.
Full article in Korean by Jang Seul Gi here.
Height Requirement Raised for Korean People’s Army Active Duty Enlistment
The North Korean military has raised its minimum height requirement for men’s eligibility to serve active duty in the Korean People’s Army (KPA) to 148 centimeters from its former standard of 142 centimeters that had been applied since 2012. The height requirement reportedly reflects the average height of middle school graduates in metropolitan areas. Thus, concern has been expressed that this standard may be difficult to meet for enlistees from rural areas.
Given that the current cohort of enlistees are part of the “Jangmadang Generation” or the “Self-Reliant Generation,” they are viewed as having grown up in a more nutritious environment than that of the “Arduous March Generation” who lived through the famine of the 90s. Meanwhile, the the KPA’s annual conscription is underway as originally scheduled, despite the ongoing state of emergency due to the coronavirus.
Full article in Korean by Jeong Tae Joo here.
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