In Brief: Rice, Rice and Planting Rice
“Rice is the ammunition for conquering the enemy”
On May 30th, Rodong Sinmun published an article that likened rice to “ammunition for conquering the enemy.”
Quoting Kim Jong-il as saying, “With guns and rice, there is no enemy to fear,” the piece stressed that “the attitude of the 1950s, with which we fought for an increase in war-time food production, must be the foundation on which an abundant harvest will be achieved this year.”
The article continued to play on the rice-bullet metaphor, urging for socialism to succeed through filling barrels with rice grains “ripened like bullets.”
With the rice-planting season starting, North Korean media has issued many pieces emphasizing how rice-planting must be treated as a war. For example, on May 23rd, Rodong Sinmun depicted North Korean citizens in the midst of a “rice-planting war”.
It appears that the DPRK state is acutely conscious about public perceptions of food shortage, as a new year of farming begins.