North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reportedly issued a new order that the military should weed out corruption in its ranks, per Daily NK. The reports come after a flurry of activity in the hermit kingdom, including rumors about the supreme leader’s health, and news that Kim had wanted a major region of the country to be “war-ready.”
Kim allegedly demanded the investigation after officials noted a series of irregularities in military accounting had led to food and other supply shortages among soldiers. One major aspect of the inquiry reportedly aims to focus on how supplies had not be distributed properly. As a result, soldiers in the lowest ranks had allegedly been without basic items items such as soap, toothpaste, clothing, and food.
The lack of food has garnered particular focus, and reportedly serves as the second aspect of the review after officials discovered that soldiers were being severely underfed. Reports suggested that the men were given just two meals a day. Worse still, the food consisted of corn noodles.
“The military authorities seem to have become acutely aware that the military is rife with corruption and that there isn’t enough food,” a source told the news outlet.
“That is why the Supreme Commander [Kim Jong Un] declared that the all members of the leadership of military units, including the general staff and members of the political and security-related departments, must fulfill their responsibilities to the fullest,” the source added.
In addition to weeding out corruption, the directive also increased the punishment for those behind any illicit actions.
The news outlet added that the investigation has “triggered anxiety” among many of the country’s officers, who fear serious repercussions “may not be far behind” the inquiry.
Many see the investigation as yet another way in which Kim is hoping to consolidate power and show strength following whispers that claimed the chairman was either in a vegetative state or had died during a recent three-week absence from public events.
Other ways in which Kim has been alleged to show force is a recent crackdown of international calls. Though the practice is already illegal in the country, officials have been increasing punishments for those who are caught in the act.
Moreover, the investigation into the military follows reports that Kim had recently ordered that the Chagang Province on the Korean border with China to be “war-ready.”
“[Kim’s] orders… stressed that the province must become an impregnable military zone,” claimed a North Korean source, as was previously reported by The Inquisitr. The Chagang Province is believed to house the bulk of North Korea’s weapons arsenal.