03:33 GMT04 March 2021
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    The political divide between South Korea and the Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK) is well documented, and now a cultural divide is poised to further drive a wedge between the split nations. North Korea has initiated a campaign to promote the age-old practice of consuming dog meat, while South Korea stands strongly against it.

    The DPRK is reportedly marketing dog meat as a "superfood" to its populace, with media campaigns encouraging people to beat a dog before slaughtering it, to improve taste. South Korean daily the Korea Times reported that a DPRK radio broadcast named Tongil Voice called dog stew the "finest medicine." 

    The broadcaster was quoted as stating, “There is an old saying that even a slice of dangogi can be good medicine during the dog days." Dangogi is a local name for dog meat that translates literally to "sweet meat."

    North Korean Youtube channel DPRK Today reportedly claimed in June that dangogi contained more vitamins than beef, duck, pork or chicken, and was also good for the stomach and intestines.

    The Korea Times reported that in July several cooking competitions were held in Pyongyang for stew and other recipes containing dog meat. Reportedly, the competitions were introduced by DPRK radio station Korean Central Broadcasting Station (KCBS). 

    Consuming dog meat in the region is a practice dating back thousands of years. It was a staple of the ancient South Korean diet, according to evidence gathered from the site of a neolithic settlement in Changnyeong, South Gyeongsang Province in South Korea.

    Today, many South Koreans have moved away from this food, in light of  pressure from animal rights groups and issues raised by health organizations over hygiene. The Korean Times said that the practice of beating dogs to death to make their meat tastier is an additional reason for the aversion. 


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    South Korea, North Korea, DPRK, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK)
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