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Kim Jong Un spent $300 million on showy projects during 3-year rule

Kim Jong Un spent $300 million on showy projects during 3-year rule

Posted December. 11, 2014 08:20,   


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reportedly spent more than 300 million US dollars on ‘showy construction projects’ since taking over power from his father, the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, in December 2011.

A source in South Korea’s intelligence authority said on Wednesday, “Since Kim Jong Un’s succeeding of power, the North is believed to have spent more than 300 million dollars in showy projects including the construction of Masikryong ski resort and horseback riding site, Pyongyang Water Park, and tourism ranches in Gangwon Province.” According to Rep. Yoon Sang-hyeon of the ruling Saenuri Party, North Korea spent 640 million dollars on import of luxury goods for ‘gift politics’ for power elite every year from 2012 to 2013. Assuming that Pyongyang has spent about the same amount this year, the North is believed to have spent over 2.22 billion dollars (about 2.442 trillion won) on showy construction projects and import of luxury goods that are not directly related to North Koreans’ livelihoods for the three years under Kim Jong Un’s rule.

The South Korean government judges that although Pyongyang was able to concentrate its efforts on ‘stabilizing the regime’ to help ‘Kim Jong Un stand on his own feet’ because the North Korean economy was stable during the three years, the North will face mounting difficulties next year.

A South Korean government source said, “If North’s trade conditions including natural resources, processed forestry products, and manpower export deteriorate due to falling international prices of underground resources and a slowing Chinese economy, Kim Jong Un’s leadership could experience challenges resulting from lack of fund for ruling the country.”

The South Korean military authority judges that the North Korean military has displayed unusual behaviors this year. The North, which declared 2013 as ‘the year to complete preparations for warfare,’ and 2015 as ‘the year to complete war for unification,’ has increased winter season military drills to a record level at the instruction of Kim Jong Un this year.

A ranking official at the South’s National Defense Ministry said, “The North has conducted drills at unprecedentedly massive scales, including deployment of 12,000-strong troops on thousands of sorties (unit of maneuver) of elite units’ airborne drills for penetration into the South’s rear areas by using AN-2 planes designed for low-altitude penetration.” This represents about 20-fold increase from previous years.