A woman in North Korea has been facing the whim of the law for not rescuing the leader’s portrait in a fire incident.
The woman has been placed under investigation by the country’s Ministry of State Security after a fire broke out in a home shared by two families in Onsong County, North Hamgyong Province, close to the Chinese border according to Daily Mail.
Both sets of parents were out at the time the fire started but raced back to save their families after seeing smoke. In the process, one set of portraits was destroyed.
It is one of the obligations of the citizens in North Korea to display paintings of its past leaders, Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, the inspectors are sent to ensure that all families abide by this.
According to the Hermit Kingdom’s laws, all depictions of the Kim family must be treated with the same reverence as the men themselves – meaning failure to care for the portraits properly is a serious crime.
If found guilty, the mother is facing a lengthy prison sentence with hard labour.
As a result of the investigation, she cannot tend to her children in the hospital, nor obtain antibiotics for their burns.
Neighbours were said to be eager to help but decided to stay away fearing that she will be charged with a political crime.
North Koreans who rescue their Kim portraits from floods and fires are feted as heroes – especially if they die in the attempt.