In the directive, Kim Jong Un called suicide an “act of treason against socialism”.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un issued an order to local authorities banning suicides as data showed numbers skyrocketing, according to government officials who spoke to Radio Free Asia. The exact figures were not revealed as a shroud of secrecy covers Pyongyang’s data. But South Korean intelligence estimated in May that suicides in North Korea had increased by about 40% from the previous year.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (AP)
In the directive, Kim Jong Un called suicide an “act of treason against socialism” stating that local government officials would be held jointly accountable for failing to prevent people from killing themselves in their jurisdiction, the report claimed.
The order was also mentioned in a series of emergency meetings in North Korean provinces, an official from the northeastern province of North Hamgyong told Radio Free Asia. Moreover, data on the number of suicides was provided as well as examples of entire families killing themselves was given, the official claimed adding that those who attended the meeting were “shocked by the disclosure of suicide notes that criticized the country and the social system.”
Another official from Ryanggang told Radio Free Asia that suicide was effecting the community more than starvation.
“Despite the suicide-prevention policy ratified by the General Secretary, the officials were not able to come up with an appropriate solution. Most of the suicides were caused by severe poverty and starvation, so no one can come up with a countermeasure right now,” the official said.
According to 2019 data from the World Health Organization (WHO), there were 8.2 suicides for every 100,000 people in North Korea.