Food shortages in North Korea have reportedly prompted a crackdown on pet dogs, with authorities seizing the animals and using them for meat.
South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported that dictator Kim Jong-un had issued a ban on pets in July, calling the practice a form of capitalist “decadence” and “tainted … by bourgeois ideology.”
“Authorities have identified households with pet dogs and are forcing them to give them up or forcefully confiscating them and putting them down,” a source told Chosun Ilbo.
The source was not otherwise identified, which is standard practice for reporting on North Korea.
The source said that some of the dogs have been sold to restaurants that sell dog meat.
Pet owners are “cursing Kim Jong-un behind his back,” which is as much as is possible in the totalitarian Communist state, according to the source.
North Korea, impoverished at the best of times, has suffered further economic tailspins recently because of widespread flooding and the COVID-19 pandemic
The move, Chosun Ilbo reported, is designed to quell public anger, in part because pet dogs have become a status symbol among the relatively better off in Pyongyang.
“Ordinary people raise pigs and livestock on their porches, but high-ranking officials and the wealthy own pet dogs, which stoked some resentment,” the source told the South Korean newspaper.
A recent United Nations report said up to 60% of North Koreans face “widespread food shortages.”