Spoiled Military Food Stirs Dissent Among North Korean Soldiers

Cristina Silva
North Korean soldiers haven taken to sarcastically calling the outbreak of the stomach flu a "gift from Kim Jong Un."

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly wanted to fatten his troops up so they, in his words, "would not envy a Chinese person." Instead, he gave them diarrhea. 

North Korean soldiers have taken to sarcastically calling the outbreak of the stomach flu a "gift from Kim Jong Un," UPI reported Tuesday. The soldiers were given the food that reportedly made them ill as a gesture of good will. The illness hit a North Korean unit of border guards.

"Under the direction of Kim Jong Un, North Korea's people's armed forces increased the supply of materials to improve the diet of border guard soldiers," a source in North Hamgyong Province told Radio Free Asia. "However, diarrhea has spread among soldiers who consumed the new food supply and is causing an uproar." 

Kim's directions were to "prepare meals for the border guard soldiers so that they would not envy a Chinese person," according to media reports. The food arrived Dec. 1 for winter training, but some of the supplies were mixed in with "iron powder" and "threads," a source in Yanggang Province told RFA, making them defective. Sand, for example, was found in the soup stock, and some of the Japanese sandfish had an odd smell. 

Kim sent the new food supplies for officers serving flood-stricken areas of the country where famine has become common. Kim himself has not visited the flooded communities, although he has made several visits to various military bases to inspire soldiers to defend his ongoing threats against the United States and South Korea.

Still, the diarrhea outbreak may have fueled anti-Kim sentiment among some soldiers just as the North Korea leader oversaw Wednesday combat flight drills and a rocket firing contest, according to media reports and reports from the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

“Kim Jong Un expressed his satisfaction over the fact that all targets were hit properly, saying that the gunners are very excellent at firing and all of them are snipers,” according to KCNA. “He gave a high appreciation of the successful contest.”

After the drills, Kim reportedly greeted the pilots, who were “moved to tears,” according to a second KCNA announcement.

“As I emphasized whenever watching the rehearsal of fighter pilots, the battle for defending the territorial air of the country is not fought, depending on weather or time, and a modern warfare is waged in the worst conditions,” Kim said. “It is, therefore, necessary to fully prepare the fighter pilots as able airmen and all-round ones capable of successfully carrying out any aerial combat duty in any adversity by conducting similar drill in the future.”


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