A North Korean initiative to issue a new type of national ID card every citizen has been restarted this month in rural areas of the country, raising fears that the campaign is really a way for authorities to discover people who have fled the country.
According to sources, authorities began the first phase of the project in Pyongyang sometime last year, with IDs issued in January 2019 to residents in cities and towns, but not to rural residents. The project was suspended due to financial difficulties before rural citizens could get their new ID cards.
“In the second round of this new ID campaign, residents in rural and mountainous regions will get their IDs,” a source from North Hamgyong province told RFA’s Korean Service Sunday.
The source said all residents are expected to have their new IDs by the end of the month.
“Last week, the village police station set a date and time and ordered the farmers to assemble to receive their new IDs,” said the source.
“But the farmers were too busy with the harvest, and don’t really care about the new ID cards, so more than half of them didn’t show up,” the source said.
“The police angrily told the people who failed to assemble to pick up their IDs at the county police station,” added the source. read more