North Korean mother 'faces prison for saving her children from a house fire instead of portrait of Kim Jong-il'
Mother was out of the house when fire broke out in Onsong County, near China
She raced back and managed to pull her children from the burning building
But she failed to rescue portraits of leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il
She is now under investigation for political crimes by the North Korean state
By MICHAEL HAVIS FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 03:49 EST, 9 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:26 EST, 9 January 2020
A North Korean mother has been threatened with jail after saving her two children from a house fire but allowing portraits of North Korea's leaders to burn.
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.
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.
North Korea demands that every home display paintings of its past leaders, Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, and sends inspectors to ensure that they do.
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 hospital, nor obtain antibiotics for their burns, newspaper Daily NK reported.