Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Eun are both coming in for quiet criticism from Party cadres over their respective roles in the botched construction of a massive dam and power station complex at Heechon, two hours north of Pyongyang.
According to information received by Daily NK, the finger of blame is being pointed at Kim Jong Il for putting in place an impossibly demanding construction schedule, and at Kim Jong Eun for spontaneously deciding to divert a large quantity of high-strength concrete needed for the sound construction of the dam to other construction projects.
A source from Pyongyang explained the news today, saying, “Just between themselves, Cabinet cadres are saying that the construction went wrong because the elderly gentleman [Kim Jong Il] ignored all the common sense rules of construction and handed down an order telling them to bring the ten-year construction period forward by roughly seven years.”
“Nobody can say it out loud, but it is also claimed that the diversion of a thousand tons of high-strength cement from the power station construction site to the construction of apartments in Hoiryeong was done on the spontaneous orders of the successor [Kim Jong Eun],” the source added.
The trigger for the diversion, the source went on, was apparently when Kim Jong Il visited Hoiryeong in 2010. Received in the city by Kim Jong Eun as he returned from China across the Tumen River in August that year, Kim allegedly voiced angry complaint at the condition of the city’s downtown core, which he had ordered to be improved in keeping with its role as the hometown of Kim Jong Suk, one of Kim Il Sung’s wives and a propaganda symbol of the Kim dynasty itself.
“At the time the successor was building up his list of achievements by taking charge of the construction of the power station at Heechon,” the source said. “However, he just took cement intended for the power station and transferred it to Hoiryeong. Then they had to use normal cement instead, and that is why the dam is defective now.”
Following the diversion of the cement, construction managers at Heechon were forced to employ a different mix of sand and cement, with the cement itself being an ordinary-strength product called ‘Suncheon Cement.’ This, it is said, is why cracks are currently developing in the dam.
The construction at Heechon originally began in 2001, but was halted shortly thereafter due to production material shortages. It was subsequently restarted after Kim Jong Il paid a visit to the site in 2009 and ordered the mobilization of the Party and military to complete it by April 15, 2012, disregarding scientific advice that required a ten-year timeframe.