Rejigged Pyongyang Annoys Southern Citizens

[imText1]A number of districts of Pyongyang were re-designated outside the city last year, leading the citizens of those districts which were placed outside the city limits to express their dissatisfaction at the move.

According to Chosun Central Annual Report, North Korea re-designated Kangnam-, Junghwa-, Sangwon-, and Seungho-districts, all of which were in the south of the city, placing them under the jurisdiction of North Hwanghae Province.

However, Kangdong-district in the far west and Mankyungdae-district in the far east were left within Pyongyang, which particularly upset the residents of Seungho-district, which is actually closer to the center.

The reason is mostly political. A source from Pyongyang explained to The Daily NK today, “Mankyungdae- and Kangdong-districts, chosen ‘idolization regions’ for that family, have not been touched. Especially, even though Kangdong-district is further east than Seungho-district, it is still in Pyongyang, so it is obvious that the people would complain about it.”

Aside from being the purported location of a revolutionary site dedicated to Kim Jong Eun, Kangdong-district is also the location of Bonghwa Revolutionary Site, which is dedicated to the revolutionary activities of Kim Hyong Jik, Kim Il Sung’s father, while Mankyungdae-district is where Kim Il Sung’s birthplace is preserved and the revolutionary ‘history’ of the Kim family is taught.

“Since the reorganization of administrative districts, the words, ‘In order to survive here, we should cling to a sprig from a Mt. Baekdu stream or some Mankyungdae blood. Otherwise, we don’t know when we might be cut off’ have been spreading,” the source said, adding, “When you are put outside the administrative district of Pyongyang, of course you are discriminated against in supplies of electricity, tap water and holiday provisions. Therefore, people do pay particular attention to it.”

Kang Mi Jin
Kang Mi Jin is a North Korean defector turned journalist who fled North Korea in 2009. She has a degree in economics and writes largely on marketization and economy-related issues for Daily NK. Questions about her articles can be directed to