Kim Jong Woon, KPA General

Apparently the Escort Bureau (Kim Jong Il’s personal bodyguard corps) is currently campaigning for Kim Jong Woon to be the successor, according to the 11th edition of “NK In & Out,” a biweekly newsletter issued by the Network for North Korean Democracy and Human Rights (NKnet).

According to Park (47), who has access to information on Sincheon in Hwanghae Province, Kim Jong Woon has been made a General by the People’s Army. Another informant stationed in the border area confirmed the rumor, saying, “I heard similar news from businessmen who visit China regularly…it must be difficult for people to understand another succession to a son.”

Meanwhile, the informant from Sincheon also reported to “NK In & Out” that all People’s Army service members, including general officers, were required to take the oath to “refrain from drinking” due to increasing alcohol-related incidents involving not only soldiers but also civilians.

With regards to food security conditions in Sincheon, it has been reported that no ration has been distributed other than 9.8kg of beans in late November and the Party Foundation Day, State Foundation Day and Chuseok rations. Although there is a rumor that the government may distribute 15-days of American rice rations, no one is expecting anything because the government has broken that promise many times before. Due to the lack of rations, ordinary farmers reportedly eat corn porridge with cabbage and weed. There have not been any deaths caused by malnutrition or starvation recently but the number of people committing suicide has reportedly increased due to difficult living condition.

The informant from Sinuiju also reported that trade between North Korea and China has reduced significantly due to the increased intensity of inspections. The intensity of inspections is expected to die down after March 8th, SPA election day; nevertheless, merchants who frequently visit China have expressed their dissatisfaction.

In Hoiryeong, 15-day ration of rice, noodles and corn was distributed on the 16th of February. It was also reported that more checkpoints have been added on streets and the atmosphere is increasingly hawkish, although the populace seems to care little about that.

That’s the 11th edition of “NK In & Out,” distributed biweekly to people in the North Korean field.