Cannibalism has long been rumored in North Korea but never proved. With that country’s never-ending food shortages, it would be a surprise if it has not happened. For the first time, a North Korean police document containing information of cannibalism gives credence to those rumors.
The Korea Herald reports on a 791-page police manual on how to deal with criminals:
“A male guard who could not bear his hunger killed his colleague using an ax, ate some of the human flesh and sold the remainder in the market by disguising it as mutton, the report said, without giving any further details such as when the alleged crime occurred.
“Kookmin Daily, a local newspaper that first reported the case, said there were four more crimes related to cannibalism in the North’s police report, but no details were given.”
Although the report does not explain if these are isolated incidents, that they are included in a police training manual strongly implies that the cannibalism occurs at least occasionally. A single incident is not going to require police training. That the cannibalism was mentioned in an official North Korean document further supports the likelihood of cannibalism. There is no propaganda value in mentioning this. However, if true, it would be a social problem needing to be reckoned with by the police.
What it comes down to is that no one should be surprised about anything from North Korea. The secretive, totalitarian government has only one agenda – to keep it tiny ruling elite in power. The North Koreans are some of the most desperate people on earth, starved not just of food, but their political will and dignity as human beings. The presence of cannibalism is just another example of the hell the North Korean people must live through.