A Few Days at Kim Il Sung’s Villa

[imText1]Located in Majun-ri, Heungnam city in South Hankyong Province, Majun beach boasts a long coastline of white sands with pine woods on its back and roses. The beach is one of the most famous destinations of vacation by Hamheung residents.

A 24-year old Chinese tourist from Shenyang, Wang Heung-Mei, who visited Majun beach this summer, said the beach, crowded with swimmers, looked like one in Dalian, China.

And on the beach, there is located Kim Il Sung’s Seoho villa.

Seoho villa used to be Kim Il Sung’s most favorite; the villa was built as half an underwater house and half aquarium. Kim In Sung enjoyed watching various kinds of fish, seaweeds, whales and other ocean creatures. A submarine squad and navy vessels patrolled the villa.

The Daily NK interviewed Kim Y., a North Korean businessman in his forties who bought a chance to have a summer vacation in the late Kim’s villa, thanks to widespread corruption of the North Korea government after the Great Famine in the mid 90s.

Kim Y. said that he and his family spent two days at Seoho villa in mid-July, 2005. Kim did so in order to have an unforgettable moment with his family. In the 90s, Kim exported used steel to China and imported rice, sugar and clothing, earning more than a million dollars, which was certainly a remarkable amount of money in North Korea. At one point I 1998, he sold more than 60 tons of clothing materials, dreaming to be a billionaire.

Kim Y. did not only know how to earn money, but also how to spend; he “donated” hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Korean Workers’ Party and earned credit from senior party officials.

As being one of the most powerful and prosperous businessmen in North Korea, Kim Y. bribed a Kim Il Sung villa’s manager with 200 dollars (600,000 North Korean wons) and stayed for two days at the Seoho villa.

Although Kim Il Sung was dead and his son Kim Jong Il was no more visiting the villa, the underwater Shangri-La was clean and well-managed. It was worth spending 200 dollars, Kim recalled.

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