Musan County, North Hamgyong Province residence
FILE PHOTO: A view of Musan County, North Hamgyong Province. (Daily NK)

North Hamgyong Province recently launched inspections to review how well the province’s cities and counties are implementing a national law that aims to improve the living conditions of discharged army officers.

“The province has begun ascertaining and inspecting — through the provincial justice department — how well cities and counties are implementing the law to ensure the living conditions of discharged army officers now, three years after the law came out,” a reporting partner in North Hamgyong Province told Daily NK on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity. 

The provincial party committee has put the provincial justice department in charge of the effort. Meanwhile, the provincial prosecutor’s office, provincial police and provincial people’s committee have put together separate inspection teams with their own personnel, which they have tasked with carrying out random inspections.

In issuing the order, the provincial party committee said its goal is to “fix a situation where army officers who originally hail from North Hamgyong Province remain in the regions they were based after their discharge with a view to encourage them to return to North Hamgyong Province.”

The party committee quietly instructed that the provincial trade management bureau and foreign currency-earning enterprises in local cities and counties take the lead in providing housing to discharged officers who return to the province and taking care of their needs.

The committee also ordered all districts and workplaces to write up plans that specify how many discharged officers they will place under their charge. 

“The inspection squads plan to ascertain whether city and county people’s committees have allotted discharged officers good homes where they can live without inconvenience and are well suited to the size of their families, particularly given the fact that providing homes for discharged officers has been a major issue in the province,” the reporting partner said. 

He added that they plan to ascertain whether discharged officers who returned to their hometowns with their families are having their needs provided for, and whether they are working in the positions or jobs to which they have been redeployed to by government agencies. 

The inspection teams are also expected to obtain a detailed understanding of how the families of discharged officers are resolving their food issues, whether they are receiving priority provisions on holidays, and how many visits they have received from city and county cadres. The results of the inspections will then be placed in ledgers recording how well the law is being implemented. 

The reporting partner said the inspection team members are carrying out surprise inspections of cities and counties and writing the ledgers on their own.

“City and county officials are nervous because they don’t know when or how they will be inspected, or by whom.”

Translated by David Black. Edited by Robert Lauler. 

Daily NK works with a network of reporting partners who live inside North Korea. Their identities remain anonymous due to security concerns. More information about Daily NK’s reporting partner network and information gathering activities can be found on our FAQ page here.  

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Jong So Yong is one of Daily NK's freelance reporters. Questions about her articles can be directed to