SEOUL, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- North Korea has been ordering ordinary citizens to donate tin foil to be used in military facilities as camouflage.
Pyongyang authorities are pressing North Koreans to support the army through its aluminum drive, so that the material could shield military sites from satellite photography, Radio Free Asia reported Monday.
A source in North Korea told RFA the "central authorities" say they are "supporting the military" through the campaign to collect household tin foil.
"The order to collect tin foil came in June but was postponed for awhile because of other priorities, but [in November] the instructions were put into effect," the source said.
Another source in North Hamgyong Province said after the mandate "elementary schoolchildren have been busy picking up empty cigarette packs discarded on roadsides."
"Those households unable to donate tin foil are being asked to make cash donations," the source said.
A second source in North Hamgyong said an open-air military base in the province has completed construction of facilities that are "covered with tin foil."
The military base is close to a marketplace in the Sunam district of Chongjin, a northeastern city.
The tin foil cover over the military facilities has become a spectacle for local residents, according to the source.
Authorities are telling people the tin foil will reflect light, making it impossible for satellites to take pictures.
Locals, however, say the measures are pointless because more soldiers are experiencing malnutrition and other problems.
Ordinary North Koreans critical of the policy, according to RFA.