◆ Obeying Kim Jong-un’s orders with absolute obedience

With one word, Hyesan city officials quickly set to work repairing the exteriors of houses along the road.

In North Korea, the authoritarian system of leadership requires absolute obedience to Kim Jong-un’s orders. And, if the leader’s commands are not executed, officials may be punished, or perhaps even executed themselves. Responding to Kim Jong-un’s criticism, Hyesan city officials decided to repaint the exterior walls of apartments along the road and replace tiles on the roofs of old houses.

The recently deceased men had been hastily mobilized to complete this work.

According to the reporting partner, “The Hyesan City Party Committee is continuing to work without any safety measures and, in the wake of the deaths, is simply telling workers ‘to be careful’. Moreover, a lot of residents are complaining about the committee forcing them to contribute their own money to pay for the repairs.”

These deaths follow another tragedy, which occurred on June 28, when a bus carrying workers mobilized for the Samjiyeon tourist zone project crashed into construction machinery on a narrow street in Potae Village, killing more than 10 people. According to the reporting partner, Kim Jong-un’s rush to complete the Samjiyeon project called for the mobilization of over 10,000 residents and has led to frequent accidents. (Kang Ji-won)

Editor’s notes on North Korean reporters

ARCHIVE(pdf) >>