NORTH KOREA CRACKED DOWN ON HOMEMADE ALCOHOL DUE TO STAPLE SHORTAGES
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
Credit: David Mathews
North Korean authorities have launched a crackdown on homemade alcohol in order to stop grain and other staple food to be diverted to distillation following damage to the country’s staple production by typhoons earlier this year, according to the Seoul-based news media Daily NK.
Quoting sources from inside North Korea, the news media reported that grain and corn harvests in North and South Hwanghae provinces have seen significant drop due to typhoon damage.
Sources also said this year’s potatoes harvests in northern regions have fallen short compared to last year.
It was said that various levels of party and government bodies are preparing measures to deal with staple shortage, the authorities are also said to have mobilized state-run media to warn against wasting food stuffs.
Special attention was said to have been put on educating housewives, who are responsible to make home brews, through the Socialist Women’s Union.
However, Daily NK’s sources predicted that the authorities will be unable to completely stop homemade alcohols despite of the measures.
One source said homemade alcohol are more prevalent in rural communities than in cities and it’s more difficult for authorities to get to them.
The source also said home production of alcohol has been subject to severe controls since 2000, but people still continue to make them. He predicted that the authorities will fail to stop homemade alcohol again this time around.
“People living in rural communities who raise livestock have to brew alcohol, because they use the grain pomace as livestocks,” the source told Daily NK.
“In rural communities in Bochon and Yanggang Province, nearly half of the households made alcohol at home, even in the potato growing areas of Baekam and Daehongdan counties, more households are brewing alcohol compared to last year,” he added.
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