Asia – Authorities in North Korea have banned the public from recycling newspapers bearing the image of their leader Kim Jong-un, Radio Free Asia has reported.
This development was sparked by a group of students taking part in the ‘Kids Plan’ paper recycling campaign. According to an insider report, the students were tasked by the authorities with collecting an ‘unreasonably’ large amount of paper for recycling; they resorted to handing in plentifully-available copies of the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper, leading to the pulping of the prominently-displayed ‘No 1 portrait’.
‘The government ordered an investigation of all of the recycling plants in South Hamgyeong province’s Hamhung city, where the images had been discovered sent as waste paper,’ according to the anonymous source. There has been talk of a follow-up nationwide investigation.
In areas of the country where paper supplies are scarce, children have no other option than to submit for recycling whatever they can find, it is explained. ‘There, people can’t even print schoolbooks due to a shortage of paper,’ the insider is reported to have said. ‘The government can push students to collect waste paper all it wants, but where will the waste paper come from?’