North Korea recently ordered regional party organizations to “guarantee” military rice stores. The authorities are apparently devoting all their energy to securing food for the military ahead of the start of winter training on Dec. 1, mobilizing even local party organizations for the effort.

According to a Daily NK source in North Korea on Tuesday, the authorities issued to local party committees an order from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un early this month. The order called on local party committees to take charge of feeding military units.

The order also calls on people’s committees and management committees to make sure soldiers have daily necessities. However, North Korean authorities reportedly stressed that administrative organizations should report the results of all their administrative and financial activities to their respective party committees and carry out their efforts with party committee approval.

The source said the order reflects the North Korean authorities’ two-sided intent to elevate the status of regional party bodies by granting them key roles, while simultaneously shifting responsibility for providing food to the military.

labor camp
A view of Yanggang Province from the Sino-North Korean border. / Image: Daily NK

North Korea considers the securing and provision of food for the military a top policy priority. Because of this, Kim’s measure to entrust local party committees with feeding the military appears extraordinary. One could also interpret the measure as a reflection of the urgency of North Korea’s food situation.

Regional party committees have reportedly responded to the order by convening emergency meetings to supply food to local military units.

In fact, Yanggang Province’s party committee held an emergency expanded meeting on Nov. 3 in which top officials from the party, local administration, security organs, police and prosecution took part. The participants held working-level discussions to provide food to the army’s 10th Corps (Chun-dong, Hyesan) and 12th Corps (Samsu County) and the border patrol’s 25th Brigade (Yonbong-dong, Hyesan), which are based in the province.

The meeting comprehensively verified and determined the size of food stores of locally garrisoned military units, the state of provincial rice stores and the amount of grain that could be requisitioned from cities and countries – all part of efforts to secure food to send to the military.

The source said it appeared the order was issued because of delays in providing food to the military ahead of winter training. He said local governments could not even provide 10 days of food, and there is little that cadres could do with the order to take charge of feeding the military.

He reported that the leadership, too, is well aware that securing grain will prove difficult as most administrative districts in Yanggang Province are mountainous. Though local cadres are pretending to do something since the order came down from above, they actually believe they can do nothing to implement the order, he added.

Please direct any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.

Read in Korean

SHARE