tractor, farm, farming, farms, farmer, supplies, agricultural, rations, security
A tractor on a farm in North Korea. (Image: Todd Mecklem, Creative Commons, Flickr)

Following an announcement by the Ministry of State Security that rations to regional security bureaus would be cut by one-third this year, the Yanggang Province branch of the Ministry of State Security recently discussed supply and other logistics issues.

Speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons, a Daily NK source in the province said the agency gathered officials in charge of departmental support enterprises for a meeting last Monday on ways to improve logistical self-sufficiency.

Participants discussed allocating the bureau’s farmland, securing money for seeds and mobilizing security agents, soldiers and their relatives to farm, among other issues.

The meeting was in response to a Mar. 5 announcement by the Ministry of State Security’s logistics bureau that the state’s regular food rations to provincial state security bureaus would be cut by one-third this year.

The very fact that the state’s regular food rations to security agencies under the Ministry of State Security – an organization that operates directly under North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and plays a key role in maintaining the regime – are dropping by a third suggests that North Korea’s food situation is facing serious issues.

“At the meeting, the agency ordered departments to mobilize personnel to plant spring potatoes on the bureau’s farmland and formulate measures to protect potato seeds from thieves and wild animals, all in line with the cut in the state’s regular rations this year,” the source said.

Agency bolsters security of farmland

The agency ordered the mobilization of security officials and even their relatives to guard the organization’s fields, calling on employees to guard its fields day and night. It also ordered the officials to line the fields with 220-volt wires to keep out thieves and wild animals.

The agency assigned the task of obtaining seeds for the individual fields to senior officials such as the heads of the organization’s security, organization and political departments. These departments are now busy asking the local city and county branches of the bureau for seeds.

After the meeting, the logistics department of the agency distributed farmland to each department for cultivation.

Meanwhile, the reduction in the state’s regular food rations applies only to regional state security organs at the provincial level and below, while the rations of the Ministry of State Security at the national level remain unchanged.

Translated by David Black. Edited by Robert Lauler. 

Daily NK works with a network of sources living in North Korea, China, and elsewhere. Their identities remain anonymous for security reasons. For more information about Daily NK’s network of reporting partners and information-gathering activities, please visit our FAQ page here.

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