The Kim Jong Un regime’s emphasis on all its citizens taking part in “national land management” has led to an increase in the number of workers in municipal and county road management units in Ryanggang Province, Daily NK sources reported on Monday. 

“The number of workers in national land management agencies has doubled in recent years,” a Ryanggang Province-based source told Daily NK. “There are now more than 10 units managing roads in Paegam, Pochon and Kimjongsuk counties.” 

In the past, there had been about three to five road management units in each municipal and county road department in the province. 

“Ryanggang Province has a lot of revolutionary historical sites, so the area warrants a lot of attention on road construction and repair,” the source said. “In the past, the authorities would repair the roads in one fell swoop, but now they place small units near important roads in the province.” 

Each road management unit is made up of five to seven workers, the source added. 

North Korea’s road system divides up its roads into six classes depending on their type, ranging from highways to small roads within towns. 

“In Kimjongsuk County, there are 10 road management units managing second-class roads, and another nine units managing third-class roads, for a total of 84 workers, including supervisors,” said one of the sources. “There were only around 30 or so workers in 2015, so the number of workers has almost tripled.”   

The increased number of workers set to work on the repair and management of the roads has led to an improvement in road maintenance and repairs overall, according to the source.

“Samjiyon County in Ryanggang Province has also increased the number of its road construction workers,” the source continued. “The road units in each of the counties meet with each other and share how they’ve improved their roads.”

Road departments create special road management units to care for roads used exclusively by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Daily NK sources added.  

“Pochon County’s road management unit has designated supervisors to ensure roads exclusively used by Kim Jong Un in their area are managed properly,” one of the sources said. “Road management units pay special attention to the state of the roads during August, when there are a lot of events attended by Kim Jong Un.” 

*Translated by Violet Kim

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