“Regulation of People Due to Concern over Flooding”

[imText1]The North Korea support organization ‘Good Friends’ alleged that the aftereffects of the recent flood in North Korea seem more severe than the flood of the late 1990’s. However, North Korean authorities are attempting to regulate people so that the truth does not become public.

Good Friends recently reported that “Each town and province in North Korea is taking measures not to authorize travel certificates until further directions are given.”

The restrictions have not only suspended railway operations, but have affected flood victims as well. During the period of unrest due to the current quasi-war, these restrictions have been enacted in order to prohibit flood victims from spreading the news of damage as they go from place to place looking for food.

In addition, military bases in Yangduk, Maengsan, Shinyang, Yoduk and Gumkang were most severely affected. However, as the country remains in a state of tension, newspapers have not been reporting details of the damage, in an attempt to lessen feelings of anxiousness.

The newsletter also reported that North Korea does not seem to be taking any countermeasures against the flooding.

Following the flood in late July, many elderly citizens and children in areas of North Korea such as Kowon, Dancheon, and Wonsan have contracted diseases and more are dying everyday. As there is no medical support or preventative measures against such epidemics, the number of deaths continues to rise.

Moreover, as the North Korean regime has been thrust into a “situation of quasi-war”, it has neglected to support those in need.

Although action has been taken to begin reconstruction, there is little machinery and equipment, so people have resorted to manually rebuilding. In addition, as roads and railroads are disconnected it is difficult for emergency equipment to be delivered to disaster areas. Currency is also not circulating easily, and it is predicted that the cost of market supplies and the price of food will rise.

Good Friends reported that approximately 130,000~150,000 people have suffered damages due to the flood, and that at present, 4,000 people have been reported missing. The number of deaths and missing persons totals more than 10,000.