North Korea Today No. 232 - Oct 2008


Soonchun Cement Factory Holds a General Meeting

Last September 29, a cement factory located in Soonchun City, South Pyongan. Province, held a general meeting reporting the results of an inspection that took place. The inspection found that the workers at the factory took several thousands MT of cement for their own use between February and September 2008. Workers took the most amounts during the three months period after March when rations were not distributed.

6.18 Inspection Strong at the Local Railway Bureau in South and North Hamgyong Province

Inspection agents visited the local Railway Bureau in South and North Hamgyong Province to start a 6.18 Inspection. The inspectors checked every details, including whether the trains were operating at the scheduled times and the cleanness of the train, to catch those who are engaging in anti-socialism activities. Each station prepared well for the inspections, but was not able to completely avoid the scrutiny of the inspectors. The sales of train ticket were the most problematic. The national price for a ticket is 320 NK won, but it has been a while since tickets have been sold for as low as 5,000 NK won and as high as 8,000 NK won. This is not a unique problem of Hamgyong Province but a nationwide problem. The station agents who did not pass the inspection were suspended from working.

South Hamgyong Province Mobilizes Its Own Inspection Team for Drug Offenders

Between August 29 and September 27, South Hamgyong Province recruited people from the party, police stations, and prosecutors offices to create an inspection team for drug offenders. Ninety-two drug-related incidents have been reported during this period and a public court hearing was held September 30. On this day, the court ordered 6 months of municipal discipline center to 11 people, discipline center under the Safety (Police) Agency for five people, and 5-10 years of Labor Re-Education Center 15 people.

College students arrested while at the farm for trying to make drugs

On October 4, four third-year medical students who left for volunteer activities at the cooperative farmlands in the Hamju County of South Hamgyong Province were arrested for the suspicion of drug production. Tools and experimental medicines used to make drugs were collected and students were transferred to a provincial police station. Following this incident, all the rooms of other college students were inspected as well.

A Severe Outbreak of Roundworm among Women Prisoners at the Jeonguhri Re-Education Center

The health conditions of the women prisoners at the Jeonguhri Re-Education Center in Hoeryong City, in the North Hamgyong Province, is becoming very serious. Because there is so little to eat, the prisoners eat any raw items for food. Therefore, they have many roundworms. The roundworms from the stomach sometimes go up through the prisoners' esophagus and out of their mouth. The worm problem is not easily treatable or preventable because the prisoners eat raw crops such as cabbage, tofu bean, or radish, without properly cleaning them.

Decision on the Relocation of Hoeryong Railroad Station by the End of Next Year

On September 24, the decision of the relocation and construction of a new Hoeryong Railroad Station in the North Hamgyong Province was confirmed in a roundtable meeting of all interested parties including the Prime Minister and the director of the National Railroad Ministry. It was decided that the Office would send the strongest shock troops to complete the relocation construction by December 24 of next year.

The Cabinet will provide necessary equipments, materials, and transportation. Gomoosan Cement Factory in Chungjin will be re-opened to support the cement provision for constructing the new station. Ranam mine machinery factory in Chungjin and Hoeryong mine machinery factory will supply steels and other raw materials. After the decision was made, the Vice Director of the Railroad Ministry visited Hoeryong City to look around the existing station and the relocation site. He instructed to remove 220 houses in the new site, Kangan-dong, by the April of 2009.

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