Kim Jong Un Orders N Koreans to Give Up Dogs for Meat: Fact Check

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Kim Jong Un Orders N Koreans to Give Up Dogs for Meat


North Koreans ordered to give up pet dogs for meat amid food shortages

Other Versions

1. North Korea’s Kim Jong Un orders citizens to give up dogs for meat

2. North Koreans forced to give up pet dogs amid food shortages

Fact Check:

A surprising story in circulation claims amid food shortages, Kim Jong Un orders North Koreans to Give up their Pet Dogs for Meat. The order in fact came up in the country’s Capital City amid food shortage and economic crisis. So, the claim as such is a fact with some missing information.

Why North Koreans Forced to Give Up Pet Dogs for Meat?

The claims in question are circulating widely on WhatsApp, social media and other online outlets. A number of viewers wondered if it is true or not. Citing a ‘source,’ South Korea’s largest and oldest newspaper The Chosun Ilbo reported the surprising news on 12th August 2020. It said North Korea launched a clampdown on the ownership of pet dogs among the elite people in Pyongyang because food supplies are running short. Note, Pyongyang is the capital and largest city of North Korea.

North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un issued a ban on pet ownership earlier in July 2020. Interestingly, he denounced it as “a ‘tainted’ trend by bourgeois ideology,” i.e. pet ownership was long considered ‘Western decadence’. While wealthy people in North Korea generally own domesticated pets, the commoners own livestock. Likewise, the source mentioned in The Chosun Ilbo said, “Ordinary people raise pigs and livestock on their porches, but high-ranking officials and the wealthy own pet dogs, which stoked some resentment.” The North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un allegedly trumpeted the move to appease the discontent among the public.

On the other hand, North Korea is facing “drastic economic hardship” after COVID-19 pandemic led to fall in trade with China. Torrential rains for more than a month in the Korean Peninsula have caused heavy flooding and also added to the economic fallout.

What Will Happen to Pet Dogs in the Capital City?

According to the mentioned source, authorities in Pyongyang identified households with pet dogs. They are forcing them to give up their pets or confiscate them and put them down. Some of the dogs are sent to state-run zoos like Korea Central Zoo in Pyongyang and other animal sanctuaries. Rest are sold to dog meat restaurants and end up at dinner tables. Dog meat is traditionally popular in China and also in Korean peninsula, although declining.

Since late 1980s, the country had an off-and-on ban on pet ownership due to the luxurious connotations of owning an animal. One defector said the clampdown on pet dogs in the capital city is severe this time. While the pet owners are “cursing Kim Jong-un behind his back,” there’s little they can do, according to the source of The Chosun Ilbo.

Hoax or Fact:

Fact with Some Missing Information.

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Prashanth Damarla