A mother from North Korea is facing jail time after rescuing her children instead of the portraits of supreme leaders from her burning home.
The incident occurred at a family home in Onsong County, North Hamgyong Province, where a mother rushed to save her kids from a house fire but failed to preserve the portraits of previous supreme leaders in the process.
According to North Korean laws, every home has to have portraits of past leaders clearly displayed on the wall, whereas inspectors commonly check homes to make sure everyone is in compliance.
In addition, the portraits of Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung have to be prioritized and treated with the utmost respect as if they were the real people whom they represent.
Failure to care for and protect the portraits, even if an emergency such as fire or flood is responsible for their destruction, can lead to the arrest of the accountable person.
According to Daily NK, the mum has been arrested after her home burned and her children got hospitalized.
She is now not only prohibited from visiting her children at the hospital but is also facing jail time for what could be deemed as a political crime in the country.
“The mother will be able to focus on caring for her children once the authorities end their investigation,” one of the sources allegedly said.
Previously, Jun Yoo-sung, one of North Koreans who escaped the regime, spoke out and claimed people are praised as heroes when they attempt to save the portraits, especially if they die in the process, when a disaster strikes.
“When a house was set on fire, some child was found to have been burnt to death holding on to those portraits. Of course, such incidents are used for North Korean propaganda,” she said.
As Illinois-based Ray Cunningham, who had been to the country on several occasions, added, he personally witnessed the level of respect Kim portraits have to be shown.
“They’re kept on the ‘honor wall’ in the living room and the wall is clear of anything else except awards from the leadership. Group photos with the leaders are also put up,” he said.
“Nation, race and the Kim family are one concept. To degenerate one is to degenerate all. We call it crazy Confucianism. It is ancestor worship gone wrong.”
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