kim jong un
North Korea's Kim Jong Un Oversees Military Parade With Horses, Dogs And Tractors Getty Images/Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool

Kim Jong-un sends flower gardeners to labor camps as punishment for individuals responsible for the cultivation and management of “Kimjongilia” blooms. The punishments are currently being meted out across some regions of North Korea. In anticipation of the late Kim Jong-il's birthday commemoration on Feb.16, the flowers were expected to be in full bloom and ready to be used during one of the nation’s biggest holidays.

According to Daily NK, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered his top-level officials to send gardeners to labor camps for neglecting the cultivation of the red begonias named after his father. The tyrant was utterly angered to learn that the flowers won't be lining up the streets of North Korea’s cities in a significant national celebration known as the “Day of the Shining Star”. Sources in Yanggang Province told media reporters that a man in his 50s from Samsu County who manages a greenhouse growing the blooms was handed a 6-month sentence to be served in a forced labor camp.

The specific begonias, named "Kimsungia" and "Kimjongilia," require dedicated greenhouses with temperatures and humidity carefully controlled to ensure they are warm enough to withstand the long and cold winter months. The greenhouse manager, identified only as Han, had failed to provide a steady supply of firewood as a means to propagate the blooms resulting in the begonias failing to bloom in volume.

The flowers came up short for the scheduled celebration which was recently decided upon during a meeting to celebrate the birthday of Kim’s father and grandfather on a grand scale. As Samsu County officials planned the lavish exhibition of the flowers, Han was ordered to produce the begonias with just a month’s notice. The greenhouse caretaker said this would be a difficult task to meet as the flowers will not bloom in time for the event. Officials accused Han of negligence and dismissed him from his position and sent him to a forced labor camp.

Other greenhouse caretakers cultivating the begonias have also suffered the same fate, with the gravity of accusations in neglecting their duties corresponding to the number of months to be served at the labor camps.

“A flower grower surnamed Kim [in her 40s] was called in every day to the county party committee to report on the state of the flowers and to write self-criticism reports," sources added.

The Kimjongilia flower also referred to as the “immortal flower” was originally created by a Japanese botanist Kamo Mototeru. The botanist was said to have had great respect for the late leader and had spent over two decades developing the bloom, which is a hybrid cultivar of a tuberous begonia native to South America.

File picture of Kim Jong Il
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il looks on during a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ahead of talks on August 24, 2011 in the Eastern city of Ulan Ude, Russia. The leaders discussed economic co-operation and North Korea's nuclear programme. Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images

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