NORTH Korea's paranoid dictator Kim Jong-un has reportedly ordered his citizens submit to hand-writing tests to find "traitors" who daubed anti-regime graffiti.
Brazen of defiance against the despot and his cronies are almost unheard of under the ruthless regime and is always punished harshly – including with executions.
Kim's security forces have been ordered to find the person responsible for writing slogans slamming the dictator's brutal leadership.
North Korean heavies are forcing citizens – including children – to give samples using both their hands.
Kim's regime is known for its brutal crushing of dissent and never hesitates to take action against critics who may undermine the dictator.
In mid-September, a sign reading “Down with party officials, who live well by exploiting the people,” was scrawled on the fence surrounding the Unsan county marketplace in South Pyongan province, north of the capital Pyongyang.
“The local security department is in an uproar,” a resident of South Pyongan, told news site Radio Free Asia.
“Under the orders of the security department, the leaders of the local neighbourhood watch units visited each household, making both adults and children to write with pens on paper to be submitted to the security department,” the source added.
“They are closely comparing the graffiti and the handwriting examples, but they have yet to catch the criminal.
"So, they are starting a second handwriting investigation.
"The first time they made everyone write with their right hand, but this time, all the residents must write with their left.”
The source said residents are angry that the security department seems to be more concerned with the handwriting investigation than to the public sentiment that inspired the slogan.
Another source told RFA that even people from outside the province, who just happened to be in the area at the time, were also required to submit handwriting samples.
“Last week I received a quarantine permit and went to my relative’s house in Unsan, South Pyongan province,” said the second source, from neighbouring North Pyongan province.
“While I was going about my business, a local security agent called me in for questioning.
"The security agent asked me about when I came from North Pyongan province and made me write on a piece of paper with my right hand and left hand.
"After confirming that my handwriting is different from the graffiti, he let me go.”
According to the second source, the two-week graffiti investigation has unintentionally made a hero of the unknown person who wrote the dissenting slogan.
It comes after North Korea reportedly executed five officials after they privately criticised Kim at a dinner party – only to be given up by one of their pals.
The men's families were also reportedly transferred to infamous North Korea gulag known as Camp 15 in Yodok.
Kim is believed to have carried out numerous executions since he came to power after the death of his dad Kim Jong-il in 2011.
The most high profile killing is believed to have been his uncle General Jang Song-thaek.
Kim bragged he put his uncle's head on display for others to see, according to the new book Rage by veteran reporter Bob Woodward.
The dictator's regime has reportedly this year executed suspected coronavirus patients for not obeying isolation rules.
Defectors have also told stories of brutal executions, including 11 musicians being blown apart by anti-aircraft guns.
More outlandish claims have alleged Kim has even thrown people into piranha-filled tanks – but these are unverified.
DailyNK reported North Korea's latest executions have sent a shockwave through the party – with many feel Kim is trying to tighten his grip.
They compared it to the days after the death of Kim Jong-il, with Kim running a series of purges as he attempted to secure power.
A source said: "They are in a situation where they cannot even give any opinions.
"It is even more strict because the administration is trying to gain discipline."
North Korea is notoriously secretive but it is believed the regime is being stretched to the brink.
Floods have combined with the coronavirus pandemic, the ongoing famine, and a buckling economy amid heavy trade sanctions.
It is believed some 60 per cent of North Koreans, around 15million people, live in absolutely poverty, according to a recent study by Vienna University.
Its GDP per capita is estimated to be around $790 – while in the UK it is around $41k – despite the extraordinary wealth of Kim and the country's elite.
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