On July 27th, North Korean residents were ordered to provide care packages to the nation’s soldiers containing rabbit and chicken stew to celebrate the anniversary of the armistice of the Korean War. In North Korea, the holiday is referred to as “Victory Day.” However, reports from inside sources indicate that the soldiers for whom the meals were intended never received them.
The 42nd brigade of the Korean People’s Army is stationed in Ryanggang Province, Samsu County. Troops from this brigade note that they never saw a care package on the national holiday.
Under the name of “supply relief for KPA soldiers,” the authorities ordered residents to prepare and donate various types of foods, including chicken and rabbit stew.
“Residents are having a hard enough time getting by as it is, and despite this, we were all asked to provide 30,000 KPW (about US$ 3.70) worth of food, but it didn’t end up being delivered to the soldiers, and nobody knows where it was sent,” said a Ryanggang Province source who spoke to Daily NK on July 28 via telephone.
“We prepared this food for the soldiers, who are weak and malnourished, but they didn’t even see it. After learning about this, the residents complained and asked where it went.”
According to the source, central authorities handed out orders throughout the country at the beginning of the month to provide relief supplies to the troops. State factory workers and housewives struggled to fulfill the orders relayed to them by the authorities.
Even students were mobilized to participate in the effort. Some were told to gather 2 kilos of wild chives, while others were ordered to write ‘letters of consolation’ to cheer up the soldiers.
“One middle school student in Samsu County was unable to contribute the required amount of wild chives, so they donated 12,000 KPW (approximately US$ 1.50) instead. Some families had to contribute three or four times that amount,” said a separate source in Ryanggang Province.
Although a wide cross-section of society (including school children) was recruited for the endeavor, he said, where the food was sent remains a mystery.
“Just a little while ago, we were told during a mandatory lecture session that Kim Jong Un loves and values the country’s soldiers above all else. More than a few residents chortled when they heard that. The orders to make this Victory Day a magnificent celebration actually had the effect of making both the soldiers and the people more depressed,” he concluded.