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Wild fire broke out near Kim Jong Il’s birthplace

Posted October. 23, 2014 04:46,   


When a wild fire recently broke out near Milyong on Mount Baekdu, which North Korea claims to be the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s birthplace, 60,000 residents in the area who were mobilized en masse reportedly strove to put out the fire.

An informed source on Ryanggang Province told The Dong-A Ilbo over the phone on Wednesday, “When a wild fire broke out at Samjiyon, near Kim Jong Il’s house of birth, on October 12, the North Korean authority placed an order to mobilize all residents,” adding, “The authority brought in by trucks residents not only from nearby Samjiyon County and Baekam County but also from Hyesan, which is far away.” A South Korean government official said on the same day, “We understand a wild fire broke out in an area near Kim Jong Il’s birthplace. We are trying to figure out the exact magnitude of damage.”

The wild fire broke out in Sobaeksu Special District in Samjiyon County, Ryanggang Province, the site that Pyongyang claims to be the origin of the Baekdu (Kim Il Sung) blood, and hometown of revolution tradition. Sobaeksu Special District has a number of relics of anti-Japanese independence fighters’ secretive barracks centered on Jongil Peak where Kim Jong Il’s birthplace is located. In addition, the area is also home to more than 1,000 Guho trees, which members of guerilla units reportedly peeled off barks from and wrote comments lauding the Kim Il Sung and his son Jong Il on.

The North Korean authority mobilized more than 60,000 residents to safeguard the area, considered a sacred place by Pyongyang, from the flames of wild fire. Residents staged a do-or-die battle, including shoveling of soil on land extending hundreds of meters around Jongil Peak, to prevent the fire from spreading to Kim Jong Il’s house of birth, and brought in dozens of water pumps from nearby areas, the source said. The wild fire around Samjiyon was reportedly extinguished around Oct. 17.

A North Korean defector hailing from Samjiyon said, “If the wild fire spread to reach Jongil Peak, North Korea must have formed a human shield, and deployed them into the flames.”