Authorities in Pyongyang recently ordered residents to stop raising pets for food, as part of a citywide campaign to improve health and sanitation. The order has reportedly resulted in a sudden price decrease at restaurants serving dog meat, as city residents rush to comply with the order by selling their animals all at once, thus flooding the market with an oversupply of edible dogs.
Kind of a grab bag of nastiness here – people raising pets for food, so many people raising pets for food it was creating a public health issue, people so hungry they are forced to eat their own pets (in South Korea, where dog meat restaurants are also common, the dogs normally come from farms/ranches, like chickens, pigs, cows, etc.; they were not pets). If this is taking place in the capital, where conditions are markedly superior to most other areas of the country, what is going on in the other provinces?
Add to people eating their own pets, a recent report on heightened ideological training to prevent a Middle East style uprising from occurring in the North, increased reports of public demonstrations throughout the country (mainly due to hunger), lowered rations even for the soldiers guarding Pyongyang, increased monitoring by internal security forces, temporary shutdowns of cellphone networks, and even open opposition among soldiers … and it hasn’t been a very good winter in the North.
But hey, on a brighter note, Koryo Tours, the best known provider of tours to the North, has launched a new blog and announced this year’s tour schedule.