Is this the part where I start making lame jokes about the North Korean economy being in the toilet? Nah, too predictable.
But what no one saw coming was the latest dictate from the Dear Respected Comrade Kim Jong-un.
As of now, every citizen of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) is required by law to contribute 220 lbs. of human excretion to the state. Each and every day.
That equates to a rather stanky three tons of fecal matter per month.
So here comes the obvious two questions:
- Why would anyone want that much human dung?
- What are the consequences for failing to meet your stool stipend?
I’m glad you asked. As reported by Radio Free Asia;
The North Korean government has decreed that every able-bodied citizen must turn in 100 kg (220 lbs) of human manure a day to be used for fertilizer, to bolster the agricultural sector.
Leader Kim Jong Un announced in his New Year’s address that the agricultural front would be the primary instrument for economic reconstruction.
“After Kim Jong Un’s [speech], the entire population has been mobilized to produce manure as the first major task of the year,” a source in North Hamgyong province told RFA’s Korean Service on Sunday.
“The authorities in each local region task factories, institutions and citizens groups with assigning production quotas to each individual,” the source said.
“They are demanding that each person produce 100kg of human feces per day, or about 3 tons per month,” said the source.
OK, that explains why Pyongyang is ordering 864 million tons of the people’s poop. That’s nearly 2 trillion pounds to you and me. To be exact, 1,728,000,000,000 lbs.
Chalk this up to another glowing endorsement of the wonders of socialism.
But that brings us to ask what will happen to those that fail to fill their daily quota.
As RFA also cited;
“Compared with last year, there’s a growing number of residents who are choosing to pay cash instead of providing the manure itself,” said the source [in North Hamgyong province].
In addition to paying cash, citizens can buy manure from merchants.
“The manure merchants are doing really well these days, charging 20 yuan (about $3) per 100kg of human feces or 300kg of compost,” the source said.
Interesting. Levying a fee on the people that can least afford it, ‘eh? Isn’t that the same thing ObamaCare did?
Anyhow, there’s one other disgusting after-effect regarding the use of human waste as agricultural fertilizer: Parasitic worms.
As noted in November of 2017 by the BBC when a lone North Korean soldier defected;
Humans can get parasites through eating contaminated food, by being bitten by an insect or by the parasite entering through the skin.
In the case of the North Korean defector, the first case is most likely. Parasites which enter the body via contaminated food are often worms.
The soldier’s food may have been contaminated because the North still uses human faeces as fertiliser, known as “night soil”.
Lee Min-bok, a North Korean agriculture expert, told Reuters: “Chemical fertiliser was supplied by the state until the 1970s. By the 1990s, the state could not supply it any more, so farmers started to use a lot of night soil instead.”
If these faeces are untreated and fertilise vegetables that are later eaten uncooked, the parasites get into the mouth and the intestines of the person.