A North Korean mother of two faces prison for saving her children from a fire that broke into their house in Onsong County, North Hamgyong Province, North Korea, close to the Chinese border but allowing portraits of North Korea’s leaders to burn.
Each home, office and school and every public place in North Korea is required to hand pictures of the deceased former heads of state, Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-Sung, a constant reminder of the Kim Dynasty and their power over the country since the DPRK was first established in 1948. Their images are considered like that of God. The portraits are rigorously policed and they are required to hang at a prominent place with no other decorations of that wall. The pictures must also be free from any dust, the violation of which leads to a fine, depending on the thickness of the layer.
The incident took place on December 30, 2019 when a fire broke out in the residence shared by two families. The Ministry of State Security (MSS) is investigating the mother because of which she is not able to tend to her children that are in hospital because of their burns. If she is found guilty, she will have to serve a long jail sentence with hard labour. People who save the portraits of the leaders by putting their life in danger are awarded bravery awards.
Author: Nandini Gandhi