With 2012 and the 100th birthday of Kim Il Sung right around the corner, North Korea is focusing heavily on securing funds for the completion of Pyongyang civil engineering projects.
They authorities are working at high speed on the construction of apartments, a department store, theaters and the Ryukyung Hotel, all the while working to create competition between organizations.
As is well known, this has included the mobilization of student labor. However, a South Korean source has now alleged that this has led to a series of accidents and the death of large numbers of the mobilized students.
The source revealed, “Due to the speed of the work and insufficient safety measures at the construction site, college students unfamiliar with the work environment are suffering fatal accidents, and word has spread in Pyongyang that hundreds of college students have died.”
Another source familiar with the situation agreed, saying, “Recent foreign visitors to Pyongyang say they heard rumors that hundreds died in accidents on construction sites, if these rumors were even heard by foreigners then it seems it must be a significant number of people.”
The original source added, “The frame of one apartment building in Mansudae District for 3000 families was finished in a span of three to four months, causing residents to worry that it may collapse. Because of that people are reluctant to move in.”
Meanwhile, a preparatory committee has reportedly been formed and is in the midst of organizing international events for next year.
Last April, North Korea announced that 2012 will see an ‘International Friendship Meeting’ in commemoration of Kim Il Sung’s birthday, a ‘Pro-Unification International Convention’ and a ‘International Juche Convention’.
Accordingly, the committee is selecting influential foreign officials to invite and recruiting appropriate artists and organizations for the various events, and overseas organizations have begun recruiting applicants wishing to visit North Korea to add color to the audiences.