Kim Jong-un sparks fury of starving North Koreans ‘forced to eat grass’ with Putin present

by Jessica
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North Koreans who are so poor they “eat grass” have expressed their resentment towards Kim Jong-un’s luxury gift from Vladimir Putin.

Putin presented ally Kim with a Russian-made Aurus limousine last month because the North Korean despot said he liked it when he visited Russia in 2023, the Kremlin said.

Kim Yo-Jong, Kim Jong-un’s younger sister and de facto right-hand man, was quoted by North Korean state media praising the gift, saying: “This is a fine gift that will serve as a clear symbol of the special friendship that has developed between the leaders of our two countries”.

But an unnamed source claimed that news of such extravagant gifts is “unpleasant” when people are facing food shortages.

The source said: “Whenever residents of Chongjin [capital of North Korea’s North Hamgyong Province] hear that the Marshal [Kim Jong-un] recently received a car from President Putin, they furrow their brows.”

The source added that a Chongjin resident said that news of such lavish gifts makes struggling citizens more “neurotic”.

They said: “People like us are so poor that we can barely find grass to chew. Still, we have to make a living somehow, or else we’ll have to beg on the streets until we roll over and die.

“For people like us, it’s better not to hear that [Kim] received a car as a gift, because it will only make us more neurotic.”

North Korea has struggled with a quick succession of crises – including the coronavirus pandemic and devastating typhoons – that have left the population on the brink of starvation.

Reports have suggested families have not been receiving vital rations from the government despite rumors about the boost Pyongyang’s coffers have experienced since it started to sell weapons to Moscow.

One person from Chongjin said: “They may try to keep us in the dark, but we’re not blind and deaf. We know what’s going on.”

Another person shared: “The North Koreans know very well that we have to tighten our belts so that they can make weapons, sell them to other countries, and then use the proceeds to make more weapons.”

Someone else added: “I have no idea who benefits from strengthening our military or developing nuclear weapons.”

Talking about Putin’s present to Kim, one person said: “To me, the news about the car felt like mocking hungry people by putting some meat in front of them and saying, ‘Look at this! Don’t you wish you could have some? ‘”.

Another resident added: “If he cared about the people, he would have asked for food instead of a car and given everyone a few kilos,” said a third.

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