The writing’s on the wall in the Hermit Kingdom.
North Korean officials are going house to house to find a vandal who scrawled anti-government graffiti on a public wall — forcing residents to undergo a handwriting test to prove their innocence, according to a report.
The aggressive hunt was sparked after the slogan “Down with party officials, who live well by exploiting the people” was scrawled on a fence around Unsan county marketplace, north of the capital Pyongyang.
“The local security department is in an uproar,” a resident of South Pyongan told Radio Free Asia (RFA).
Because the graffiti comes close to the 75th anniversary of the Oct. 10 founding of the ruling Korean Workers’ Party, officials believe it is an “attempt to overthrow party officials,” the local said.
It is being treated as an “anti-government act that directly criticizes the party’s central leadership, including the Highest Dignity,” the source said, referring to the Hermit Kingdom’s leader, Kim Jong Un.
“Under the orders of the security department, the leaders of the local neighborhood watch units visited each household, making both adults and children to write with pens on paper to be submitted to the security department,” the source told RFA.
“They are closely comparing the graffiti and the handwriting examples,” the source said.
After failing to find the culprit, officials plan a second round of tests — this time making everyone write with their left hand rather than the right, the source told RFA.
Even visitors to the province are forced to undergo tests, another source told RFA.
The plot may have backfired, however — and helped ink the vandal’s reputation as a local hero, one source told the outlet.