North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently ordered the designation of Kim Jong Un National Defense University as a “secret base,” sparking evictions of some nearby residents, Daily NK sources reported on Wednesday.
Affiliated with the Academy of National Defense Science, Kim Jong Un Defense University has been directly involved in the development of strategic weapons and has been a key cultivator of talent for the country’s military science community.
The university was reportedly directly involved in the development of the Pukguksong-3, which was test launched on Oct. 2.
EVICTING NEARBY FAMILIES
Following the designation of the university as a “secret base,” nearby families not affiliated with the university are being told they must leave their homes by next spring, sources said.
“Even households where one family member formerly worked for the university are now working somewhere else, or where the family member who worked for the university has passed away, have been told to move away from the area,” one source said.
Currently, representatives from the university are working with local district offices and are going from house to house, ordering families to evacuate by next spring, the source continued. “They are told they have to leave by next fall at the latest. People faced with eviction from their homes have been left speechless,” he added.
Sources also added that residents faced with eviction orders are living in a state of fear about what their new lives in another part of the country will bring.
Kim had pursued the change in the university’s designation to a “secret base” in 2016 and 2017, but the designation is likely to stick this time, sources said.
“This time it came down as an order from the Supreme Commander [Kim Jong Un], which means the designation must go forward and reports must be made up the line about progress,” one source told Daily NK.
Sources said that the new designation was aimed at preventing leaks of confidential data from the university amid the country’s focus on the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), SLBMs and other strategic weapons.
Since Kim’s order was handed down, the university’s party committee informed instructors, staff and students that the university would be designated a “special control zone.” Immediately after that, there was an increase in the number of guard posts inside and outside of the university’s campus.
All students of the university are expected to don military uniforms on campus. Both students and teachers have identification cards stating they are affiliated with the “825th Unit of the Korean People’s Army.”
The university’s students are selected from science and engineering majors at the nation’s top high schools. Once these students have completed four years of university, they enter the elite of society, becoming party members.
*Translated by Violet Kim and edited by Oliver Osuna
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