In July, the dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, announced having a dog as a pet would be against the law. Stating that pets are a symbol of capitalist ‘decadence,’ dogs in Pyongyang are being confiscated and being sent to either restaurants or zoos for meat to solve the nation’s food shortages.
According to the Daily Mail, dog meat has continued to be a delicacy on the Korean Peninsula, and even though there has been a downturn with younger people, there are still one million dogs raised on farms for human consumption.
“Authorities have identified households with pet dogs and are forcing them to give them or forcefully confiscating them and putting them down,” a source from South Korea’s Chosun IIbo newspaper stated.
Pet owners have little choice even though there have been reports of “cursing Kim Jong-un behind his back.” Anyone refusing to give up their dog could be viewed as an act of defiance by Jong-un, who commonly refers to himself as the Supreme Dignity.
In 1989, pets were encouraged in North Korea and used as a symbol of economic development, sophistication and wealthy families could be seen walking their dogs on state run television programs. In 2018, Kim Jong-un gifted the South Korean president two home grown hunting dogs presenting them as “peace puppies.” Those obviously were the lucky pups.
North Korea now faces a widespread food shortage – 60% of the population of 25.5 million people are included.
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