North Korean leader recently ordered the military-run “August 25 Fishery Station” to increase its catch of fish by 2,000 tons more than last year to help alleviate the military’s food shortages, Daily NK has learned.
“The Supreme Leader [Kim Jong Un] ordered the August 25 Fishery Station to catch 6,000 tons of fish on Feb. 4,” a Kangwon Province-based military source told Daily NK on Feb. 11. “That’s 2,000 tons more than the 4,000 tons caught last year.”
In the order, Kim reportedly added that the fishery station, which is under KPA Unit No. 313, needed to catch 6,000 tons of fish this year to serve as a model for “rearguard” members of the military – namely those involved in food production.
Kim has visited the August 25 Fishery Station many times as part of his efforts to ignite a “marine products revolution” in the military and ensure that the station’s fishing activities “fully prepares the military for battle.”
Kim’s order to increase the number of fish caught at the fishery station is likely aimed at showing that he is doing all he can to resolve the military’s food shortages, a problem that Daily NK has long documented.
Some at the fishery station, however, have expressed frustration at Kim’s sudden order to increase the catch this year.
“Fishing boat captains at the August 25 Fishery Station are saying that they’ll have to spend their entire lives at sea to meet such production goals,” the source said, adding, “Female soldiers who have caught ‘cold body syndrome’ from long hours in the fishing station’s refrigerators are not happy about the sudden orders to increase the catch this year, either.”
Ultimately, however, Kim’s emphasis on the August 25 Fishery Station to “serve as a model” for the rest of the military provides a glimpse at the efforts he is making to encourage other fishing stations to improve their catch and his broader efforts to improve morale in the military.
Kim also reportedly ordered party committees in each military base to “collect” goals aimed at improving the lives of soldiers.
According to the source, these goals will reportedly be used for discussion in expanded meetings held by primary party committees before Kim Jong Il’s birthday on February 16. The meetings will be attended by members of the military’s political departments, staff departments and logistics departments.
“Military commanders are working on plans to improve the conditions in their units,” the source told Daily NK. “News has spread that the August 25 Fishery Station needs to increase its catch by 1.5 times compared to last year. Many of the military’s food production units are feeling a burden to increase their catch as well.”
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