An unusually high number of snakes for the season were reported in North Korea's Ryanggang province, which abuts China. A source in the province told South Korean news agency, the Daily NK, the Pyongyang government blames South Korea's National Intelligence Service for the infestation. The source said the North believes the use of the snakes is "part of a 'cunning scheme' to challenge our unity."
Soldiers are complaining about the assignment, suggesting "not even a 3-year-old would believe the South would attack us with snakes," the source said.
The North Korean government has increased warnings to its citizens of the dangers of snake bites, and British newspaper The Guardian said the reports of excess snakes have increased the cost of rubber trousers used by smugglers who often spend time wading in North Korea's Yalu River, to $7.
North Korean propaganda previously said an infestation of insects, which destroyed corn crops, was the work of imperialist action by the United States, when it was actually caused by a lack of pesticides, another source in Ryanggang province told The Guardian.