“300 Households” Will Be Forcibly Relocated by the Baekdu Mountain Tour

Yanji, China — With the “Baekdu Mountain Tour” anticipated to begin in May, it has been made known that 300 households of Hyesan in Samjiyeon of Yangkang Province will be forcibly relocated.

An inside source from Hyesan confirmed in a phone conversation with the DailyNK on the 3rd, “In continuation of the forced relocation of 31 households on January 23rd in Hyesan, 84 additional households were relocated at the end of February.” Another source verified, “I heard that 80-some households were relocated from Hyesan.”

The Haesan source said, “The 84 households displaced this time around were alerted of the date and the destination of relocation and were forced to leave the city one after another over a period of 15 days. The deportees were dispersed to several villages far from the border.”

The source said, “The households that were relocated the second time around were family members of citizens who failed the 2nd anti-socialist inspections which had been taking place until recently, as well as households designated for relocation in the 1st round of the anti-socialist inspections. The person in charge of the inspections officially announced that all 300 households will be forcibly moved by mid-April.”

Related to the displacement of 300 households, it has been known that the People’s Unit of Hyesan has been conducting education sessions at various meetings, “We are trying to prepare a place of residence for Japanese-Koreans currently residing in Japan.”

The source said that the North Korean authorities have been advertising, “A countless number of Japanese-Koreans are hoping to return to and reside in the arms of the Fatherland due to the Japanese oppressive schemes towards the Chongryon (General Association of North Korean Residents in Japan). Japanese-Koreans have said that it is their dream to have the opportunity to live in the birthplace of the Great General, so we have to move the residents of Samjiyeon.”

Park Doo Jin, the chief of “Korea International Institute” who is familiar with the inside workings of the Chongryon, spurned, “The homecoming project of Japanese-Koreans has completely stalled since ’84. This is a baseless rumor.”

A majority of experts on North Korea and defectors have observed that the relocation is most likely due to preparations for the Baekdu Mountain Tour in May. North Korea has already expanded the strategic facilities of Samjiyeon since the end of last year and has prepared several facilities in preparation for the Baekdu Tour.

Kim Sung Ryun (pseudonym), who defected in 2005 and settled in South Korea, said, “If the Baekdu Mountain Tour is carried out, police officers or guards have to be brought in, as was the case with the Geumgang Mountain and Kaesong tours. It is highly possible that the reason for moving the residents of Samjiyeon is to provide a place of residence for them.”

Kim also said, “Just as North Korea did not alert the citizens displaced by the Geumgang Mountain tours, they probably mentioned the story of the Chongryon to hide the development of the Baekdu Mountain Tour. However, if 300 households are relocated from Hyesan and Samjiyeon, the rumors regarding the Baekdu Mountain Tours will spread more rapidly than the tour of Geumgang Mountain.”