Reports have surfaced from workers on site
that North Korea’s new large-scale power plant in the alpine reaches of Yanggang Province, known as the ‘Mt. Baekdu Songun Youth Power Plant’, is a victim of shoddy
construction resulting from a rush job to align its opening with last month’s Party Foundation Day celebrations.
According to local sources, Kim Jong Un ordered
that construction on the plant be completed quickly as to wield it as a political tool. Due to its haphazard construction, the fact that the finished
plant has been having difficulty producing power comes as little surprise to those who were forced to contribute to the effort and finish it within the misguided timeframe.
On November 2nd, a Daily NK reporter spoke
on the phone with a source in South Pyongan Province, who informed us that a
worker has said that the construction of the plant was pushed several years
ahead of schedule for propaganda purposes. To keep up
with Kim Jong Un’s sudden and urgent demands that construction be finished
before the anniversary, Party cadres had workers toiling around the clock, who
had no choice but to cut corners to meet the deadline.
The resulting project, she said, “is a
An additional source in Yanggang Province who personally worked at the site corroborated this news.
“Construction was rushed to earn the
approval of the General (Kim Jong Un). They could have built it properly according to the original schedule, but under this kind of pressure they didn’t
even have the luxury of mixing cement with the appropriate ratio of sand and
gravel,” she added.
“Moreover, when the cement embankment was
built, new layers of cement were carelessly slapped on top before the previous
layers were allowed to fully dry. When the cement settles, the resulting cracks
will create a porous wall incapable of withstanding much water pressure,” she
said, before adding, “There’s no way the plant will hold up in the long run.”
Even though the power plant was a national
project, the state failed to invest any money in it. The Kim Il Sung Socialist
Youth League members who were put in charge of the project traveled all over
the country gathering materials for the endeavor but mostly managed only to
collect scrap, rendering the project “under-resourced from the beginning,”
according to the source, further illustrating her point by noting that in
the absence of high-strength concrete, ordinary cement normally used to build
houses was used instead.
“Of course the Party cadres, engineers, and
workers are afraid that the power plant won’t be able to stay standing, much
less produce power. Some of the officials are even whispering to each other to
just leave it, so in the future some other official will be sacrificed and
forced to take responsibility for the sloppy work,” she asserted.
The source drew a parallel to construction on the Huichon Power Plant in
Chagang Province, originally scheduled to take place over the course of ten years, but under the
orders of Kim Jong Il was built in just three.
To this day, the slapdash
construction has resulted in a plant that has yet to generate power properly. Our source bemoaned the fact that the quick-and-dirty work
on the ‘Mt. Baekdu Songun Youth Power Plant’ is just “another disgrace”.
*The content of this article was broadcast to the North Korean people via Unification Media Group.