North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has reportedly ordered citizens to give up their pet dogs so that the canines can be converted into meat for restaurants amid a shortage of food supplies during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
[q]What has Kim Jong-un said about pet dogs?[/q]
[ans]North Korea is currently facing a massive shortage of food supplies; to quell discontent among his people, the Supreme Leader has ordered people to hand over their pet dogs. He used class difference as an excuse to justify the move, which has been described as brutal and inhuman.
According to a report by The Mirror, he said that the ordinary people raise livestock and cattle while only the rich and elite have pet dogs. He called having pet dogs a sign of "capitalism" and "bourgeois ideology." [/ans]
[q]Are pet dogs banned in North Korea?[/q]
[ans]Kim Jong-un has indeed ordered a ban on pet ownership, calling it a symbol of "western decadence." According to a report by a South Korean newspaper, he also referred to the practice of having dogs as pets ‘a tainted trend by bourgeois ideology’.
Dogs in North Korea have always been associated with capitalist notions and the rule banning pet dogs has been implemented on and off since the 1980s, reports NY Times. According to the South China Morning Post, in 2018, North Korea asked its people to give up their dogs' fur ahead of the Party Foundation Day (one of North Korea's biggest and most important holidays). If they refused, they would have to hand over the US $148 worth of rice to the state. [/ans]
[q]Why is Kim Jong-un confiscating pets dogs?[/q]
[ans]As mentioned, Kim Jong-un considers owning dogs as pets as a symbol of capitalism. According to multiple reports, North Korea has also been facing a shortage of food. The reports suggested that the pandemic had led to "drastic economic hardship" which has been worsened by the 90% fall in trade with China. The United Nations said a few weeks ago that many families in North Korea were starving and that some can only afford one meal a day.
Amid such dire circumstances, the Supreme Leader feels that some families owning dogs as pets is a sign of opulence and wealth which is unfair for the lower strata of the society. [/ans]
[q]What will happen to the dogs once they are confiscated?[/q]
[ans]Confiscation of the pooches will begin in Pyongyang, the capital city. According to a report by NY Times, some of the dogs will be sent to state-run zoos while some will be sent to restaurants for meat. Dog meat is considered to be a delicacy in North Korea and amid food shortages, this has presented as a viable food source for many families. [/ans]
[q]How are the dogs confiscated?[/q]
[ans]Authorities have been appointed to identify families in North Korea with pet dogs. Once the families are identified, they are being forced to give up the dogs to be put down or set to zoos and restaurants. [/ans]
[q]Can the pet owners refuse?[/q]
[ans]It is unlikely that the pet owners will be able to refuse, since Kim Jong-un runs a tight ship in North Korea, and it can only be described as dictatorial. Many families are upset and unwilling to give up their beloved pets, but beyond that, their hands are tied. [/ans]