(UnitedVoice.com) – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un keeps information from within his country pretty tightly controlled. Normally, he has strict control of the nation’s media. However, recent reports indicate there’s a major problem in the country.
Unnamed North Korean government officials reportedly spoke to Radio Free Asia and revealed Kim issued a secret order mandating local authorities do what they can to stop people from committing suicide. Officials delivered the order to party leaders at the city, provincial, and local levels at emergency meetings.
Kim is now officially defining the act of suicide as “treason against socialism.” The decision to tackle the problem came after a rise in deaths in the nation. Statistics showed there were 35 cases of suicide so far this year in two counties alone. The official who revealed the information about the new order said many of the suicides have been entire families taking their lives. In another city, a 10-year-old boy was living with his grandma because his parents starved to death; the child and elderly woman decided to eat rat poison.
The reasons for the suicides are reportedly directly related to Kim’s poor governance. The United Nations estimated that some 42% of North Koreans were malnourished between 2019 and 2021. The country is still grappling with a food shortage. Experts have estimated North Korea has lost hundreds of thousands of people due to mass starvation since the 1990s.
In the Ryanggang province, those who attended one of the emergency meetings criticized the country’s social system, the unnamed government official said. Even though Kim ordered local officials to find solutions to the suicide crisis, they couldn’t come up with anything.
The official said that starvation and poverty are the reason for the suicides, two issues that aren’t likely to subside anytime soon. He said that taking their own lives is being seen as “a final act of defiance against a hopeless system.”
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