North Korea forces married women to build border wall with China: report
- North Korea has built a wall on its border with Communist cousin China.
- When he realized he was late, he started enlisting married women as laborers, for Free Asia Radio.
- North Koreans were unhappy with the forced labor, saying the border wall would be “unnecessary,” sources told Radio Free Asia.
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North Korea, unable to meet a deadline for building a wall along its border with China, has turned to forcing married women to make cement blocks for construction, Radio Free Asia reported on Monday.
The regime wants to complete a two-meter-high wall with electric cables in Ryanggang province by October 10, the party’s founding day, according to Radio Free Asia, a nonprofit news site supported by United States.
North Korea initially planned to use military personnel and young people as laborers, but unnamed sources in the province told Radio Free Asia authorities realized they needed more manpower. work to complete the wall on time. As a result, he ordered married women in the area, as young as those in their twenties and as old as those in their sixties, to begin producing 10 cement blocks a day for the wall until the day the foundation was founded. Gone, according to the report.
Labor conscription is common in North Korea, but it aroused the ire of locals, Radio Free Asia sources said.
“People are complaining that the authorities are forcing frail elderly women in their 60s to do forced labor,” a source told Radio Free Asia.
People criticize authorities, saying, ‘Even in this severe coronavirus emergency, people are still crossing the river, risking their lives to smuggle. Even if they build the wall, could that prevent people from finding a way to cross the river? ‘”The source added.
Another source told Radio Free Asia that some of the women involved in the effort are upset about being forced to work, complaining that the wall would be “unnecessary” as smugglers still find ways to cross the border.
Strict border control of North Korea
North Korea shares an 880 mile border with China. The neighbors are separated by two rivers – the Tumen and the Yalu.
The Yalu River crossing is the narrowest in Hyesan, the largest city in Ryanggang Province, where the wall is being built. It’s a common space for smuggling everything from food to TVs to recording devices, reported The Seoul-based Daily NK news site.
Smuggling activity has intensified in the region since North Korea closed its borders in early 2020, when concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic began to grow.
The dictatorship suffers from a “great” pandemic crisis and a food shortage that has driven up prices, admitted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this year.
The Ryanggang Wall is just another of the country’s hard-line measures to protect its borders.
Since closing its borders, North Korea has stepped up security in the province, calling in special forces to help guard the border, Daily NK reported in June. In addition to this, the regime has already issued shoot orders to kill anyone crossing the border illegally and deployed landmines there in 2020.
Now, the North Korean authorities want the Ryanggang Wall to be completed before the Party’s founding day so that they can reorganize their border patrols and recall their special forces for winter training, reported Daily NK.
Meanwhile, across the river, China has also strengthened its border with North Korea in recent years, establishing a military base southwest of Ryanggang, Forbes reported.