What North Korea's Songun - military first policy - means in practice:
It has been revealed that Chosun People’s Army (KPA) units in the north of the country are competing with unusual intensity to secure stocks of grain from local cooperative farms, which are currently in the middle of threshing this year’s harvest of rice and corn.
The source, who hails from North Hamkyung Province, told Daily NK on the 2nd, “Army procurement officers are everywhere here now that we have finished threshing the corn and are starting to deal with the rice. Teams of officers and armed men are staying here in the farming villages to fight over the grain.”
Ever since state distribution collapsed in the 1990s, individual military units have been required to obtain their food supplies from specified local cooperative farms. However, with several army units designated to each farm and harvest yields unable to meet the full demand, competition has always been a problem. To counter it, the KPA General Logistic Bureau organizes provincial branches of the ‘5.14 Inspection Team’ that are meant to assign specific quotas to each unit.
However, the source explained, “This year the Army has come to the farm a week or so earlier to compete for the grain. Considering how determined they are, it is clearly their intention not to lose out on a single grain of rice.”
“There is a limited amount of grain available and it is a fight between procurement teams, so opposition to the 5.14 Inspection Team personnel is pretty intense,” the source went on. “Usually the food is supplied to the army after being threshed and polished; however, this year some units have even brought these rice polishing machines known as ‘bang-bang-i’ with them to try and secure the grain.”
“Watching this scene, one wonders whether the army would not be much better off being given the land and farming for itself,” he concluded.
But why bother with all that hard graft, if you're the army, when you can march in and expropriate the fruits of the labour of others when all the work's been done. Didn't Marx talk about that sort of thing? Or maybe I've misunderstood...