A North Korean mother could face prison after she saved her two children from a house fire instead of saving portraits of the North Korean leaders reports Daily NK.
Because she saved her children first, some of the portraits were destroyed in the fire. In North Korea everyone are obliged to display portraits of their leaders, and they must be treated as the men themselves, and there are many rules regarding how they are to be displayed.
For example they must be hung so high up on the wall that no-one can stand higher than the portraits. And if there is dust on the portraits, people can be punished with a fine depending on how much dust has accumulated. Portraits of the leaders are displayed in public places like schools, subways and railway stations.
If the mother is found guilty of political crimes for failing to rescue the portraits, she is facing a long prison sentence and hard labour. She also cannot visit her children in hospital nor get hold of antibiotics because of being under investigation for political crimes.
A young farm worker who managed to save the portraits belonging to another family who lives in the same house has been praised as a hero. North Koreans who manage to save the Kim family’s portraits are praised has heroes, but failing to do so can lead to consequences.
A North Korean defector, Jun Yoo-sung, who fled the country in 2005 , says that children have died attempting to rescue portraits.
Han Hyon-gyong, a 14 year old girl drowned while attempting to save the family’s portraits of the leaders after a flood in 2012. She was posthumously awarded a youth honor award and her school was renamed in her memory.
North Korea remains an authoritarian Communist country which repeatedly violates human rights and imprisons political opponents and persecute Christians. The country continuously ranks at the top of Christian persecution in the world according to Open Doors USA watch list.
Historically, Communism has been a big persecutor of Christians, with millions of Christians being killed in the Soviet union alone.