A source from North Hamkyung Province has reported that the “No. 129 Factory” in the Songhyang-dong of Chongjin makes parts of aluminum alloy torpedoes for the North Korean navy, contradicting a North Korean assertion that it does not use such materials in its torpedoes.
The source told The Daily NK today, “The claim by North Korea’s National Defense Commission that ‘our navy has only steel alloy torpedoes not aluminum ones’ is a complete lie,” adding, “In just No. 129 Factory in Chongjin alone they produce the frames of torpedo and propellants from aluminum.”
North Korea’s National Defense Commission insisted on the 2nd in a statement carried by Chosun Central News Agency (KCNA) that, “Our navy also has torpedoes as other countries do, but our torpedoes are not made from aluminum alloy as in other countries,’ but with steel alloy materials by the working class in the Juche way.”
The statement continued, “The American imperialists and traitor factions announcing that the aluminum alloy chips were from a North Korean torpedo one is the same as refuting the theory of a North Korean torpedo attack all by themselves.”
However, the source explained, “This factory is a second level factory with more than 2,000 workers. Even ten-year-old kids in Songpyong-district boast of the fact that our No. 129 Factory produces torpedoes,” adding that it is common knowledge in the area around the factory that aluminium is used for this purpose.
The source reported, “One freight train of aluminum is carried into the factory quarterly along the railroad to Chongjin Thermoelectric Power Plant. Parts of torpedoes produced in the factory are sent to the torpedo management corps, which is in charge of assembling and maintaining torpedoes at east or west coast naval bases, and then are finally assembled.”
The factory is a munitions factory producing the frames, propellants and other parts of torpedo under the Second Economic Commission, which is in charge of the military economy. It is guarded by Chosun People’s Guard Corps under the National Security Agency and the Worker and Peasant Red Guard. Unusually, since it is a munitions factory, food distribution and payment for workers do generally occur.