TWO children were murdered and eaten by their father as starving rural North Koreans have turned to cannibalism, reports from the internationally isolated state of North Korea claim.
• Famine-hit North Koreans turning to cannibalism, reports suggest
• Estimated 10,000 dead as hunger grips isolated state
The revelations from Osaka-based press agency Asia Press, which were published in yesterday’s Sunday Times, portray a country so badly struck by famine that instances of cannibalism are rising.
Another report from the same agency tells of how a man exhumed his own grandchild and boiled his corpse.
It is estimated that over 10,000 people have died as a result of a widespread famine that has struck the rural North and South Hwanghae regions particularly hard as droughts have ravaged the pariah state.
Asia Press claim they have recruited a number of citizen journalists working undercover across the provinces.
One South Hwanghae reporter claimed: “In my village in May, a man who killed his own two children and tried to eat them was executed by a firing squad.
“While his wife was away on business he killed his eldest daughter and, because his son saw what he had done, he killed his son as well. When the wife came home, he offered her food, saying: ‘We have meat.’”
The account also tells of how the man’s wife reported her suspicions to the police, who found parts of the childrens’ bodies on the family property.
Another citizen journalist, Gu Gwang-ho, claimed that a man had dug up the remains of his grandchild and ate him.
Jiro Ishimaru, who compiled the 12-page report at Asia Press, said: “Particularly shocking were the numerous testimonies that hit us about cannibalism.”
A North Korean official from the Korean Worker’s Party confirmed one incident of cannibalism, saying: “In a village in Chongdang county, a man who went mad with hunger boiled his own child, ate his flesh and was arrested.”
Defence spending, sanctioned by leader Kim-Jong-un, is thought to have risen drastically in recent months despite widespread hunger that has devastated farming communities.
UN sanctions against North Korea have been extended as the pariah state has drawn widespread condemnation for ongoing missile testing, believed to be evidence of Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.
A Japan and South-Korea-backed UN resolution proposed by the US was agreed on Tuesday.