Propaganda Made Real in Kangdong

The North Korean authorities have reportedly completed work on one of the key pieces of infrastructure in the idolization of new leader Kim Jong Eun; his official birth home at Hyangmok Village, part of Kangdong County, which lies within Pyongyang municipality.

As such, it is likely to be only a matter of time before the authorities begin to publicize the area as Kim’s official birth place to the international audience.

The three-stage plan for the development of Hyangmok Village was begun back in the second half of 2008. The first step was that of overhauling the local environs, the second to remodel the interior of the house, and the third to complete road and rail connections to the area.

According to one local source, “The third stage is in the middle of being completed right now, the road and railways from the center of Pyongyang, the track bed for the dedicated railway from Pyongyang is finished. Work on rail connections from Chongjin and Hamheung are both set to be finished soon.”

A corn field on the way from downtown Pyongyang to the area has reportedly been turned into an apple orchard, so as to allow those travelling from the capital to honor the new leader to have access to fruit en route. The project was led from Pyongyang by central construction authorities.

Elsewhere, the authorities are also pushing forward with the establishment of villas for the use of Kim Jong Eun, one in Gyeongseong County in North Hamkyung Province and another in Changseong County in North Pyongyan Province.

Work at the site in North Hamkyung Province, near the town of Onpo, apparently risked resistance from local people, many hundreds of whom were forced to move to make way for a private railway in. The area was formerly home to a rest and recuperation area run by the provincial Party and another owned by Daesung Trading Company, which was founded by Japanese-Korean Oh Sa Seong, but these reportedly had to make way.

The railway line, spanning the 10km between the Onpo Villa and Gyeongseong Station for the exclusive use of Kim Jong Eun, has been completed thanks to the labor of around 1,000 mobilized soldiers, according to a North Hamkyung Province Party insider.

The North Pyongan Province site, meanwhile, is reportedly that of a villa for deceased leader Kim Jong Il, one said to have been preferred by Ko Young Hee, Kim Jong Eun’s biological mother.

A source from Shinuiju, the biggest city in the province, commented on the work, “Changseong County is so well decorated it could be called the ‘2nd Pyongyang.’”

However, the source added, “Discharged soldiers were used for this project, so there was a lot of complaint from them.”