A military source in North Korea refuted a recent CNN report claiming that there is activity at a “nuclear facility” in Pyongyang, saying that the supposed nuclear weapons facility is actually a school for training military officers.
“The building in question is the ‘Pyongyang Anti-aircraft Unit Command’s Political Military University,’ which is located on the right-hand side of a road running through Wonro Village heading toward Taedong County from Chilgol Station [a subway station],” the source told Daily NK today. “[The facility] has nothing to do with nuclear weapons.”
“The school has a main office building, a support office building, a building where lectures take place, a barracks, and a research center,” the source said, adding, “The building is nothing more than a regular political military university.”
The source also told Daily NK that then-North Korean leader Kim Jong Il had placed Chon Jong-min, who was a Central Committee official at the time, as head of the school in the spring of 2003 while instructing him to “expand” the school and cultivate many “great political commanders” who would protect the skies above the capital city.
CNN reported earlier today that satellite photographs it had obtained from “Planet Labs,” a civilian satellite imagery company, showed that there was a “security perimeter, on-site housing, monuments to unpublicized leadership visits, and an underground facility.”
Daily NK’s source, however, said that the “on-site housing” mentioned in the CNN report is to the right-hand side of the front gate of the school and that they are “not high” – just “one-story houses with two families to a building” – and that school staff are living there.
The source further stated that there are “no underground facilities inside the school grounds” and that “there is a reservoir in front of the school that is used for cleaning and construction purposes.”
“A bottled water plant is directly across from the school’s front gate, and there is farmland inside a wall behind the main office building. There are many graves located to the northeast of the wall,” the source further reported, adding, “A lot of people gather [at the gravesites] during Chongmyong and Chusok, which makes it very unlikely that [the authorities] would conduct secret nuclear program-related activities there.”
Both the South Korean and US governments have refrained from making any specific comments about the CNN report.
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