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N. Korea enacts rules on regulating firearms

All News 10:30 August 06, 2012

SEOUL, Aug. 6 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has had a gun control law since 2009, recently obtained data showed Monday, in what was seen as an effort to tighten control over the society at a time of power succession.

North Korea's new leader Kim Jong-un was groomed as the successor to his ailing father Kim Jong-il, with the hereditary succession plan becoming official for the first time in 2010 when the young Kim was named as a four-star general in the military.

Kim Jong-un took the helm of the communist country after the death of his father last December.

The permanent committee of the North's Supreme People's Assembly, its rubber-stamp parliament, established a firearms control act in November 2009, which stipulates rules on the supply, transport, storage and usage of guns and their instruction system, according to the data obtained by Yonhap News Agency.

The law, which comprises of five chapters and 42 articles, "aims to contribute to the guarantee of social safety and the protection of the people's lives and property by setting up the strict system" on registering, storing and using firearms, the North states in its legislation.

Under the regulations, guns are allowed only for its "primary purposes" including executing official duties such as keeping guard and training.

Institutions, businesses, groups and the public are prohibited from possessing or transacting firearms according to the law, which also banned lending, smuggling, destroying and self-producing firearms.

Those who violate the rules, resulting in "stern consequences," are subject to administrative and criminal liabilities, the North says in the law.

Experts say the establishment of such acts is part of Kim Jong-il's efforts to tighten control of the society and maintain strict order following his nomination of his third and youngest son Kim Jong-un to be his successor in early 2009.

"North Korea appeared to have tried to strictly regulate firearms under the circumstances where former leader Kim's stroke in 2008 could lead to a chaos in the society," said Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies.


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