Poverty, hunger drive suicides in North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered local authorities to take suicide prevention measures after various media reports revealed families committed suicide due to hunger and poverty.

Kim officially defined suicide as an “act of treason against socialism” and issued a confidential suicide prevention order during emergency meetings of the party leaders all over the country, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on June 5.

An unnamed official from North Hamgyong told RFA that the details of suicide cases shared during the meeting shocked the gathered officials.

“Our meeting was held at the provincial party committee’s building located in Pohang district, in the city of Chongjin,” the unnamed official said.

He further added that “the large number of suicide cases in the province was revealed and some officials… could not hide their anxious expressions.”

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