There has been a notable increase in the number of suicides and divorces in North Korea over the past year of the Kim Jong Eun regime, Daily NK has learned.
A Gangwon Province source told Daily NK on the 7th, “Life hasn’t been this hard at any point since the March of Tribulation at the end of the 90s. The crackdowns are worse than before [under Kim Jong Il] and there are more suicides happening among the elderly and children without families.”
According to the source, there have been more than twenty suicide cases caused by hardening living conditions in the past year in just one district of Wonsan. Meanwhile, new divorce cases are being heard daily.
The source continued, “This is not only the situation in Gangwon Province, everywhere is in much the same condition. I spent four days riding the train up from Wonsan to Hyesan, and heard similar tales from all over the place.”
In recent days, a Hwanghae source has also told Daily NK, “I heard from a Party cadre that a greater number of cases of suicide happened last year because of the worsening situation. People living in the border region can escape, but we have nowhere to go so the only choice is to starve to death or take our own lives.”
However, Daily NK sources in Hyesan on the Sino-North Korean border say that the situation is not actually so much better there. It used to be relatively easy to defect, but not so much now.
The Gangwon Province source went on, “Last year the authorities mobilized everyone for various events, and heavily regulated the markets, while now they are going on about combat readiness. This has given people much more difficult lives. A lot of people depend on the markets.”
Saying that approximately 30% of market traders in Wonsan are currently having just one meal per day, the source added that the notion that life under Kim Jong Il was actually better is becoming more common.