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N. Korean Energy Official Dismissed

Posted January. 19, 2007 03:00,   


Mainichi Shimbun reported on January 18 that Park Bong Ju, North Korea’s prime minister, was put on good behavior and Ju Dong Il, in charge of electricity and coal was dismissed for energy policy.

Citing an official close to the North Korean regime, the Japanese newspaper said Ju’s remarks at an energy officials’ meeting last spring came under controversy. At the meeting, he said, “North Korea’s current electricity supply is in short condition. How about using electricity allocated for the leader’s accommodations?” He proposed distributing electricity to companies and houses after reducing the power supply for Kim Jong Il’s resorts, which are located nationwide.

In the mean time, Park had requested export limits and the regime had temporarily banned export to China when he said, “When we continue to export our coal to China, North Koreans will not heat their homes and business activity will be frozen.” The National Defense Commission, which led North Korean nuclear weapons’ tests, urged export resumption for foreign reserves in an effort to boost its military power. Thus, exports to China were resumed.

The newspaper reports that he now restrains his behavior as prime minister after receiving an order from the party leadership, saying, “You had better spend some time working on your self-control.”