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North Korea to Rebuild Yongcheon

Posted April. 30, 2004 21:03,   


North Korea is planning to rebuild the whole area of Yongcheon station that is now in ruins because of the explosion.

Correspondents in Dandong, China said, “North Korea presented a list of items needed to private organizations in China and South Korea. They asked for construction materials such as cement and steel, not just medical supplies.”

Accordingly, the local government of Dandong sent 700 tons of cement in 70 10-ton trucks on April 29, and 500 tons of cement in 50 trucks on April 30. One correspondent said, “The central government of China will send crude oil and heavy equipment as well as construction materials because North Korea requested them.”

The headquarters of the private, Korean pan-national movement that calls itself “New Hope for Yongcheon” delivered three 100kW class motors that day, which are only used for generating electricity.

In addition, ever since 300 tons (worth about 10 billion won) of daily necessities and medical supplies were delivered to the North by the “Headquarters for the Yongcheon Station Explosion Victims Movement” that morning, relief work in the field seems to have become more active.

The headquarters plans to send some construction equipment, such as an excavator, next time. It is known that North Korean residents already know who is sending them aid from North Korean media reports.

Another correspondent of Dandong who recently conveyed relief supplies said, “Now in Yongcheon, restoration work is under way using all of the equipment and relief supplies available to the Pyoungan North province. Management of dead bodies has been taken care of as well.”

This correspondent also stated, “Restoration of Yongcheon will be carried out by removing all collapsed or destroyed buildings and replacing them with new construction. They built new buildings after clearing the explosion site of Hamheung in the past.”

One Chinese emigrant in North Korea said, “The Eighth Corps, which is stationed in Yeoumju, 15km south of Yongcheon seemed to have been mobilized for the reconstruction effort. Originally, there were only seven corps in North Korea, but it created an eighth in Pyoungan north province and a ninth in Jagang province in the mid- 90s.”

Meanwhile, the transportation bottleneck for relief supplies in Dandong continued even on the 30th.

The chief of the personnel department of the international freight traffic in Dandong, Kim Jeong-dong stated, “Some drivers were bid up to 1,800 yen (about 270,000 won) for services that had originally cost 400 yen (about 60,000 won) because Chinese trucks in the cross-border area had all been mobilized for relief transportation by the Chinese government and Korean private organizations.”

Yoo-Seong Hwang yshwang@donga.com