Any news out of North Korea should be taken with the biggest grain of salt on the planet, but multiple reports from the region claim that food shortages in North Korea are so bad that people are resorting to cannibalism. Even worse, parents are reportedly murdering their own children for food.

The shocking reports come from independent news reporters commissioned by Asia Press, an independent press agency focusing on Asia, and were published by U.K. newspaper the Sunday Times.

“A father in North Korea is reported to have been executed by firing squad after murdering his two children to eat them during a ‘hidden famine’ that may have killed more than 10,000 people last year,” the Sunday Times wrote of one known incident of cannibalism in North Korea.

The British newspaper reports that hunger in the country may be widespread as a “litany of horrors [have been] documented by undercover reporters,” with one man even reportedly digging up his own grandchild’s corpse for food, and another who “went mad with hunger” and boiled his own child and ate the flesh for dinner.

Another startling report from the Sunday Times states:

While his wife was away on business he killed his eldest daughter and, because his son saw what he had done, he killed his son as well. When the wife came home, he offered her food, saying: ‘We have meat.’

But his wife, suspicious, notified the Ministry of Public Security, which led to the discovery of part of their children’s bodies under the eaves.

The big question here is whether or not all of these reports of cannibalism are actually true, considering North Korea, who favors propaganda over the facts, would never confirm such issues.

However, the Asia Press’ use of citizen reports in famine-stricken regions of the country adds serious veracity to their claims of cannibalism. And The Sunday Times, as well as The Independent — both credible news sources — have been reporting on this issue as well.

An image taken of North Korean children during the food shortage of the 1990’s

Sadly, these aren’t the first reports of North Koreans eating other people to combat a national food shortage. Ten years ago, during another food shortage, there were refugee accounts that North Korean citizens were not only killing and eating their own children, but also selling their children’s corpses.

Meanwhile, amid his country’s national food shortage, leader Kim Jong Un has spent vast sums of money on two rocket launches, and a third is reportedly underway.

North Korea is definitely a country with its priorities in order.

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