GoodFriends: Research Institute For North Korean Society

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North Korea Today No. 195

RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR NORTH KOREAN SOCIETY
http://www.goodfriends.or.kr/eng
No. 195 August 2008
Working To Prevent Flood Damage
Pyongyang Gives Aid to Restore Flood Damage of Kaesong
Pyongsung’s Spring Forest Fire Destroyed 28 Jungbo (units of area)
Catching Squid is in Seasonal Prime and Piracy Is Also at Its Peak
Missing Fishermen Found Captive in Russia
Train collision at Jungju Station
Increase in Deportation during Beijing Olympics




Working To Prevent Flood Damage
In July and August, Kaesong and its suburban farming villages had unexpected damage caused by floods and torrential rainstorms. The local party organized and sent ‘prevention team for flood damage’ to the City Management Department of every City and County People’s Assembly. They ordered that cities should repair railroads, bridges, and levees that have the possibility of damaging the farming areas and cities, and to rebuild banks if there are any problems. If any district does not follow this directive, they will punish the people in charge immediately.

Pyongyang Gives Aid to Restore Flood Damage of Kaesong
Pyongyang has mobilized workers of factories and enterprises to restore the flood damaged areas of Kaesong. Pyongyang has also given 300 tons of cement produced by Sangwon Cement Factory of Sangwon district as part of the rebuilding effort. On the other hand, this heavy rain in Kaesong destroyed cornfields, so it will be impossible to harvest corn in Kaesong and its surrounding farming villages such as Kaepoong County. They plowed over the flooded paddy fields and cornfields and planted vegetables such as Korean cabbage and daikon in order to make the most of the situation.

Pyongsung’s Spring Forest Fire Destroyed 28 Jungbo (units of area)
On July 12, the Ministry of Justice of Pyongsung City People’s Assembly, South Pyongan Province, analyzed that the area destroyed by a forest fire reached 28 Jungbo (about 910 ㎡) from April to June of this year. For example, a forest fire that broke out in Dongbook-ri, Pyongsung on the morning of May 27 suffocated and burned to death as many as 13 farmers. This area is forest conservancy that is close to residential areas, so protecting trees is very important. For the severe damage of materials and casualties, the Justice Department punished forest rangers with 3 to 6 months mining works without payment.

Catching Squid is in Seasonal Prime and Piracy Is Also at Its Peak
July 29, when a boat belonging to Gimchaek Steel Mill, Songpyong district, Chungjin, North Hwanghae Province, returned from catching squids, pirates attacked and robbed the boat. They robbed the boat of its fishing nets, batteries, tools, and all the squid on board. The robbed boat was out of gas and drifted out to sea until it was rescued around 4 o’clock of the next day, July 30, by a boat of Urang Fisheries Enterprise. Since last year, there were about 120 reported piracies in the sea around Chungjin and Rajin. Furthermore, they have an unprecedently good harvest of squid in this year, so the piracy is at its peak. La, Geum-cheol (41) living by the sea of Chungjin said, “Scamps who do not like to work get together and go out to sea by carrying lethal weapons. They pretend to fish and all of a sudden catch the other boats. They kill people who resist and throw them to the sea, so most fishing boat give up their earnings when they encounter the piracy. Because it is not easy to survive, we experience all kinds of things.” In order to solve this problem, Chungjin has decided to locate a shooter on each boat from August.

Missing Fishermen Found Captive in Russia
The missing fishermen whose whereabouts were unknown until now since their disappearance on June 29 have reportedly been detained by Russia. This group of fishermen, who left their home town of Raksan-dong Chungarm District of Chungjin City in Hamgyong Province for a squid fishing expedition, was captured by Russian coast guards when it entered Russian sea. This latest news brought much relief for the family members of the fishermen who have agonized over uncertainty of their whereabouts. However, the family members are now faced with yet another apprehension for their fishermen’s safe return since no definitive date is yet to be set.


Train collision at Jungju Station
On July 27, a train collision occurred at Jungju station located in Jungju County of North Pyongan Province. Fortunately, no civilians was hurt since it was a war victory memorial day (전승기념일), but this military freight train crash took the lives of three military personnel. A brake malfunction on the freight train carrying anthracite coal crashed into another haul freight filled with crops and derailed two of its cars carrying corn. The Jungju station train conductor, stationmaster, and the engineer from the freight train that caused the accident have resigned.



Increase in Deportation during Beijing Olympics
Many North Korean defectors, who have crossed the river into China, are being deported. Citing the need for heightening security and keeping social order in light of 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Chinese government has begun enforcing a track-down and deportation of defectors. As part of this massive hunt, the government has imposed a strict fine of 5,000 Wan to those who secretly provide shelter and/or subsidy ranging from 500 to 1,000 Wan to a defector. Also, it entices defectors with a promise of a safe residency as part of new human right’s effort and then arrests them when they come to apply for the residency. The North Korean authorities have deployed its security guards in the national border area to launch an intense investigation with the Chinese.

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