Young children are reportedly being tasked with “non-tax burdens,” ostensibly for winter preparations, in kindergartens in North Hamgyong Province.

A source in North Hamgyong Province told Daily NK on Thursday that winter preparations in kindergartens in Chongjin began in earnest this month. “However, the kindergarteners are being given non-tax burdens in the name of the winter preparations,” he said.

During the Eighth Party Congress earlier this year, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for the elimination of non-tax burdens, ordering an intensified party, administrative and legal “battle” against the practice. However, in reality, local residents, students and even kindergarten children are still being subject to non-tax burdens.

In fact, in the case of Sunan Kindergarten in Chongjin, students were recently ordered to cough up KPW 100,000 per person, ostensibly so the school can buy firewood. Firewood currently sells for KPW 85,000 per cubic meter in local markets.

North Korean children / Image: Seokwang

The school even pressured the students by telling them they would be evaluated based on how quickly they performed the task.

This basically amounts to inflicting psychological pain and mental scars on young children.

North Korea calls young children “the kings of the country.” Contrary to the regime’s claims, however, North Korean children are not receiving proper nursery care and education from the authorities.

To mark International Children’s Day on June 1, the Korean Central News Agency reported that the country’s children were happily living under the nation’s nursery and education system.

However, the reality is that children receive no state benefits at all, the source claimed. 

“Since the Kim Jong Un era began, state benefits have disappeared. Instead, kindergarten children are being subjected to non-tax burdens in the name of education,” said the source. “Children from poorer households are even avoiding going to kindergarten.”

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

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