Kim Jong-Un, the Supreme Leader of North Korea, has ordered that pet dogs in Pyongyang be rounded up – and owners are fearful that their beloved pets are being used to solve the nation’s food shortages.
This comes after he announced in July that owning a pet is now against the law and declared that pet dogs are a symbol of capitalist “decadence”.
“Authorities have identified households with pet dogs and are forcing them to give them up or forcefully confiscating them and putting them down”, a source told South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper.
“Some of the dogs are sent to state-run zoos or sold to dog meat restaurants,” the source added.
Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported that pet owners are “cursing Kim Jong-un behind his back” but there is little they can do since refusal to comply attracts grave consequences.
A recent UN report stated that as many as 60 percent of North Korea’s 25.5 million people are facing “widespread food shortages” that have been worsened by international sanctions imposed on the regime for its nuclear missile programmes.
Dog meat has long been considered a delicacy on the Korean Peninsula, although the tradition of eating dogs is gradually fading out in South Korea.
Still, an estimated 1 million dogs are reared on farms to be consumed every year in South Korea.