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Pyongyang Subway Submerged in Water

Park Hyun Min  |  2007-08-20 00:11
▲ Pyongyang subway station decorated with mosaic wall @ http://www.tema.ru/travel/choson-1/
From August 7th to 14th North Korea was faced with severe flooding which inflicted massive damages throughout the nation. It seems that part of Pyongyang subway station has also been submerged in water, one area that was constructed with security reasons in mind.

Regarding this one South Korea governmental official said, “The area around Pyongyang has experienced severe damages due to the flooding that was caused by the rain” and “As for the subway stations, operations have been suspended for 3~4 of the stations past Kaeson and Buheung station.”

Pyongyang subway was constructed with close attention to security and was first opened in September 1973. It is connected to underground military facilities and as a result, even plays the role of bunker. The entrance to the platforms are 60~80tons thick and built of materials such as zinc, enough to withstand even a nuclear explosion.

North Korea’s subway system consists of two lines: the South-North “Choenrima-Line” the intersecting East-West “Hyukshin-Line.” The interior of the subway stations are decorated with chandeliers and marble, and the stations have been extravagantly designed with mosaic walls representing the revolution, often called the “underground palace” or “underground Pyongyang.” Hence, Pyongyang station is one of the essential sightseeing destinations for foreign visitors.

In particular, “Buheung station” and “Yongkwang station” both flooded by the rain were known as most opulently designed stations to the point that foreign tourists actually enjoyed the subway ride between these destinations.

In addition, reports suggest that Pyongyang subway station was not only touched by the water but rather significantly damaged by the rain.

The “Revolutionary Capital” Pyongyang was designed deep into the underground for security reasons. However, the fact that this city has been submerged in water is in a way a security escape for the U.S. who has been targeted by North Korea with nuclear threats.

A researcher for the Korean Institute for Defense Analysis Kim Tae Woo said, “This natural disaster has exposed the fragility of North Korea’s obscure and useless defense concept” and “Although North Korea built the subway station in preparation for a nuclear attack, the U.S. was already in the process of developing neutralizing technology.”

Further he said, “Moreover, the bitter fact is that North Korea’s economy has been sacrificed to build this subway deep into the underground for protection” and criticized, “The subway station which should act as an affordable form of transportation for many of the people has not been able to fulfill its role.”
 
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