North Korean officials are raiding homes throughout the drought-hit country in search of food to feed its starving army, according to sources inside North Korea.
Soldiers had already been given lengthy periods of leave in order to try to find food and make money to purchase food. However, it hasn't been enough. Collective farms are suffering due to drought and poor harvests, leading officials to ransack farms and homes in order to find any stored food or money that might benefit the army, Daily NK reports.
While North Korean citizens are used to officials searching for food and asking for bribes, their use of increasingly brutal tactics has led to reported clashes between troops and citizens.
Farms in the country have not been able to meet quotas, and in response, officials are giving them new assignments.
"These demands are pushing people to their wits' end," a source told the Daily NK.
"Sometime in spring, the collective farms that are behind on their quotas will have some of their constituents provide frozen potatoes, which are processed by peeling and drying before presentation to the authorities," the same source said. "But many also call the season the ‘time when thieves (in this case, the farm authorities) rear their ugly heads.'"
Famine is believed to have previously killed millions of people in the hermit kingdom. The regime prioritizes sending food and resources to the military and high ranking officials over its general population.