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North Korea orders pet dogs seized from owners amid food shortages: report

Owning a pet dog is condemned as a 'capitalist decadence' in the communist nation

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Pet dogs are being seized by the government of North Korea in the capital city of Pyongyang amid food shortages in the communist nation, according to a report.

What are the details?

South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo cited an unnamed source in reporting that communist dictator Kim Jong Un issued a ban on pet ownership last month, declaring the move to be a measure "protecting the country against capitalist 'decadence.'" The leader reportedly called ownership of dogs "a 'tainted' trend by bourgeois ideology."

The source also claimed, "Authorities have identified households with pet dogs and are forcing them to give them up or forcefully confiscating them and putting them down."

According to the outlet, some dogs are being sent to state-owned zoos, and others are being sold to restaurants, leaving helpless pet owners upset but with no recourse in the secretive regime.

The New York Post reported that "while the oppressive regime says the move is to clamp down on capitalist extravagance in Pyongyang, the dog owners are fearful that given North Korea's food shortage — and propensity for eating dog meat — the directive has only come about to feed the masses."

Anything else?

The Daily Mail reported that North Korea "is facing widespread food shortages, aggravated by the decision to close the border with China due to coronavirus." The outlet noted that "Beijing is traditionally Pyongyang's main supporter and the source of much of the food required to feed Kim's people."

In addition to challenges from COVID-19, North Korea's domestic food production has suffered due to large swaths of cropland being wiped out by flooding.

The hot weather could also have something to do with Kim's decision to turn pets into cuisine. According to an article published by The Guardian in 2014:

When the summer heat strikes the Korean peninsula, it's not ice or water that North Korea's authorities recommend to get through the sweltering conditions – it's dog meat, among other "revitalizing" foods.
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