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North Korean mum faces GULAG after saving her kids from fire instead of Kim portraits

00:25, Sunday, 12 January, 2020
North Korean mum faces GULAG after saving her kids from fire instead of Kim portraits

A mum faces a lifetime of hard labour in a North Korean GULAG - after choosing to rescue her kids from a house fire instead of a Kim Jong-Un portrait.

She is being grilled over the decision by Kim's feared secret police - who have even banned her from tending to her kids in hospital.

Officials demand that every home displays paintings of the country's ruling Kim family.

The blaze broke out at a shared house in Onsoing County, near the Chinese border.

One family managed to rescue portraits of Kim Il-sun and Kim Jong-il - but one lost the pictures to the inferno.

The mum-of-two fears she could now be sentenced to a lifetime of hard labour as punishment.

She has also been barred from obtaining antibiotics for her kids' burns - and neighbors are terrified the fearsome Ministry of State Security will punish them if they offer help.

North Koreans who rescue Kim portraits from floods and fires are praised as heroes - especially if they die in the attempt.

Dissident Jun Yoo-sung, who fled the country in 2005, said: "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."

And Han Hyon-Gyong, 14, drowned trying to save her family’s Kim portraits after a flash flood struck her home in Sinhung County, South Hamkyong, in 2012.

She was posthumously awarded the Kim Jong-Il Youth Honor Award and her school was renamed in her memory.

Barmy Pyongyang diktats state the portraits must be hung on the most prominent wall in the living room.

They must be so high up that nobody can stand higher than them.

They must be kept clean too – a layer of dust is punishable with a fine, with the size of the sum dependent on the thickness of the layer.

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