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Some N. Koreans avoid work as police informants due to no compensation

A source in North Hamgyong Province said on Monday that some people in Hoeryong have been avoiding becoming police informers lately.

Police in Hoeryong recently ordered “security team members” – essentially police informants – to be ideologically “rearmed” in accordance with the results of the Fifth National Conference of Public Security Branch Heads held from April 30 to May 1, the first such meeting in 10 years.

Police officers and security team members have been undergoing ideological training in accordance with the “concrete ways to bring about a revolutionary turn in the overall work of public security” presented by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the national conference.

Recently, however, the members of the security team have been trying to escape from their unpaid work by saying that they will do work where “Newton’s third law of motion” applies. In particular, they are outspoken about the disparity in compensation between them and Ministry of State Security informants.

“The Ministry of State Security materially rewards informants based on their results and provides them with perks like helping them get travel documents or solving business problems, but the security team members of the Ministry of Social Security receive nothing,” the source said.

“Quick-witted people do this kind of work, so why would they work for the powerless Ministry of Social Security when they could work for the Ministry of State Security, which pays?” he asked.

Security team members try to avoid police handlers as much as possible

Security team members are selected by the police officer in charge of their area and report what they see once a week. These days, however, they are frequently visited by police officers who ask them about this and that.

Constantly peppered with unpaid questions and recently ordered to undergo ideological “re-armament,” the security team members hardly welcome visits from their police handlers, the source said. So they scurry away when they see their police handlers coming.

“Police officers usually ride bicycles, and these days it seems the scorching sun has put some extra pep in their tires because of the order to ideologically rearm security team members,” the source said. “The policemen scoff at the reality they face, saying that as ‘policemen who make 100 rounds,’ they feel like they are making a real revolution.”

The “policeman who makes 100 rounds” is a phrase that originated during the time of the late North Korean leader Kim Il Sung. It referred to police officers who uncovered crimes such as theft or smuggling while making 100 rounds in their jurisdictions – in other words, responsible police officers. But the term, which once referred to a revolutionary worker, lost its meaning in the 2000s.

“Today, we use the term ‘policeman who makes 100 rounds’ to refer to police officers who go around looking for people to shake down for bribes,” the source said. “That police officers are objects of public suspicion and discomfort shows the reality of today’s North Korea.”

Daily NK works with a network of sources living in North Korea, China, and elsewhere. Their identities remain anonymous for security reasons. For more information about Daily NK’s network of reporting partners and information-gathering activities, please visit our FAQ page here.

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Read in Korean

June 28, 2024 at 08:00AM

by DailyNK(North Korean Media)

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