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FILE PHOTO: View into North Korea from across the Tumen River in China's Jilin Province. (Daily NK)

The North Hamgyong Province Party Committee recently ordered the replacement of a large number of technical inspectors at Tumen River Station, Daily NK has learned.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source in North Hamgyong Province told Daily NK on Tuesday that North Korea is focusing on normalizing train operations to promote exchange with Russia.

In accordance with this plan, in mid-May the party apparatus in the province ordered that the officials in charge of technical inspection at the Tumen River Station be examined for their abilities and ideological leanings and that appropriate measures be taken to increase the efficiency of their work in the field of railway management.

The provincial party committee ordered the immediate replacement of any troublesome or incompetent technical inspectors at the station, stating that these orders have the fundamental goal of ensuring safety through careful inspection of railway conditions and timely implementation of necessary repairs and maintenance.

“The provincial party committee ordered that all officials deemed to be inefficient or incompetent should be dispassionately replaced with new officials to breathe new life into station management and normalize train service. According to the committee, matters of great importance to the state cannot be entrusted to problematic technical inspectors,” the source said.

Significantly, the provincial party committee ordered that the new technical inspectors be systematically trained by the end of this month to ensure they achieve meaningful results in their work, and that they also be given ideological training on how to always cultivate a sense of responsibility.

As the primary duty of technical inspectors is to regularly inspect the condition of the railways and carry out repairs and maintenance when necessary, the committee stressed that these inspectors must be mentally equipped to consider enabling rapid rail transport under all circumstances and ensuring the safety of railways under all conditions.

“According to the current instructions of the provincial party committee, the technical inspectors at the Tumen River Station will be replaced, and more workers will be mobilized to repair and maintain the railway. But some of the dismissed technical inspectors were very unhappy about being downgraded to ordinary laborers,” the source said.

The provincial party committee has informed the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea that rail links to Russia are operating normally, and has promised to draw up emergency plans for accident-prone sections of the railway in the near future.

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