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Kim Jong-Un’s Latest Pitch: Hungry? Eat Your Pets

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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In a bout of strange propaganda, North Korea is encouraging people to eat dog meat, arguing it’s rich in nutritional value.

On Monday, the Korea Times reported that since late June, North Korean media outlets have been hyping up the value of dog meat as a summertime treat.

Tongil Voice, a North Korean radio broadcast, calls dog meat “dangogi,” which can literally be translated as “sweet meat.” The hosts of the radio show assert that dog meat is the ideal meal for the dog days of summer. They insist that dog meat is the “finest medicine.”

Last month, Korean Central Broadcasting Station (KBCS) held a competition to see which culinary experts could create the most delicious and unique dog meat dish. One very popular dish making a splash is dog meat stew.

Pyongyang has also been advocating on behalf of some of its new dog meat restaurants.

Dog meat is eaten in a number of Asian countries, including China and South Korea, but North Korea’s latest interest in turning man’s best friend into entrees comes with a touch of tragedy.

North Korea appears to be facing its worst food crisis in years. In April, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said that water scarcity has severely influenced North Korea’s food production. This year, North Korea may be required to import at least 694,000 tons of food; experts believe the government may only be able to secure 300,000 tons, reported CBS News.

In response, North Korea is trying to convince its citizens to eat dogs. The state government argues that dog meat is “stamina food,” or a “superfood,” which contains far more nutritional value than chicken, beef, pork, or duck. Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un’s latest pitch is meant to disguise the fact that the country is running out of food, and may soon be struggling to survive.

North Korea is no stranger to starvation. In the mid-1990s, a famine swept across the country, killing around three million people. During that time, people ate whatever they could to keep from starving to death.

While the slaughtering of dogs for food could be seen as understandable if the execution was carried out in a humane way, North Korea’s methods are brutal. The state has instructed citizens to beat the dogs to death. Supposedly pummeling the animal until it dies makes it taste better.

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