Soldiers who inspected Kim Jong Un’s personal food truck removed from duties

North Korean vehicle driving near the Yalu River in North Pyongan Province
North Korean vehicle driving near the Yalu River in North Pyongan Province. Image: Daily NK

Border security soldiers who dared to inspect a vehicle transporting food for Kim Jong Un and his family have been removed from their duties.

The soldiers were accused of exceeding their authority by inspecting Kim Jong Un’s food, referred to as Food Number 1 (as Kim Jong Un’s moniker is Comrade Number 1), while working at a security post in Pungsan Squad under a border security unit in Kimhyonggwon County close to the DPRK-China border.

“The security unit members are now awaiting punishment from senior officials because they allegedly inspected Truck Number 8 (Kim Jong Un’s food transport vehicle), which was travelling from the border region to Pyongyang via Hyesan,” a North Korean border guard source told Daily NK.

Truck Number 8 can be easily distinguished from ordinary trucks, as it has a Pyongyang license plate and the cargo area is sealed. From the source’s explanations, the box-shaped truck is equipped with various devices to ensure safe transportation and hygiene.

The source said that Truck Number 8 frequently passes through Pungsan Squad’s security post, and the guards are instructed to only check the Central Party-issued pass and not the cargo. Recently, there was a case in which the truck was determined to be smuggling precious metals in the region, but because it is a special transport vehicle, even the security unit did not dare to inspect the truck.

“During the incident, the security guards from the Pungsan Squad were allegedly quarreling with the truck’s driver and passengers after checking the pass due to the fact that they were linked with smuggling and errant behavior. As the argument ensued, the security unit demanded to check the cargo and made them open the truck’s door.”

Both sides went back and forth for a while and even a call was made, even though the driver repeatedly warned the guards ‘not to do anything that they cannot take responsibility for’ but the soldiers did not back down, and the driver eventually opened the cargo door with the words, ‘you guys are dead.’

A separate source in Ryanggang Province said that when the sealed cargo section was opened, it was found to be carrying slaughtered sheep from Kimhyonggwon County under refrigeration. The rules stipulate that the truck cannot stop or rest after the cargo has been loaded and the cargo box cannot be opened while in transit.

When the soldiers saw the meat in the cargo, they realized that they were either destined for a high-ranking official in Pyongyang or Kim Jong Un and his family. They immediately put everything back together and let the truck pass through, “but eventually the incident came back to bite them,” the source said.

The soldiers have been removed from their duties and are awaiting punishment.

“They got into trouble because they did something they cannot handle. The driver and passengers who opened Truck Number 8 will not escape punishment either,” the Ryanggang Province-based source concluded.

*Translated by Yongmin Lee

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