Who Saw Kim Jong Il in Shinuiju?

Jung Kwon Ho  |  2008-12-08 16:40
Shenyang, China -- Regarding a report on the Chosun (North Korea) Central News Agency stating that Kim Jong Il recently visited Shinuiju, a source from Shinuiju informed Daily NK, A Number 1 Event (a welcoming event for Kim Jong Il onsite inspections) was held on November 24, but we are not sure whether or not the General (Kim Jong Il) appeared.

However, the Chosun Central News Agency released a news article November 25th that Kim Jong Il visited the Shinuiju Cosmetics Factory and the Nakwon Machine Complex. It was accompanied by 30 photographs.

In a telephone interview with the Daily NK, the source reported that, The Special Train arrived at South Shinuiju Station at around 1PM on November 24 and the Number 1 Event was held at 2PM at the Shinuiju Cosmetics Factory, lasting for fifteen minutes. Although entrance into the factory was strictly controlled due to the event, no one who saw the General on the day is known.

On the 23rd November, cadres from the National Security Agency and the Peoples Safety Agency were called to an emergency meeting at 5PM. General officers thought there was just an irregular meeting, but there was a quick special event one day later.

He added that, In the Shinuiju Cosmetics Factory, right after lunch time on the 24th, they had workers and managers gather in a conference hall for an urgent meeting, and the Escort Bureau blocked the hall so that no one could get out. Only electrical engineers and repairmen, totally four workers, were outside the conference hall.

The source reported that, Around 3PM, the workers returned to their posts, but there was no notice about the Generals onsite inspection. The other day, they found out about the fact on TV.

Another source from Shinuiju said, Although it was the truth that the Number 1 Event was held in the Cosmetics Factory, there was on one who saw the General and even the regulations on the day were so simple. Therefore, there is gossip going around about whether the General really visited there or not.

The general has not appeared in front of the masses at the onsite inspections, but as least he has usually been escorted by the primary party secretaries and the factory manager. Staff or workers selected to escort the General receive Number 1 gifts from him directly, so it is natural that the rumors of Kim Jong Il visiting such factories circulate.

A Korean-Chinese merchant who stayed in Shinuiju on the 24th of last month and comes and goes occasionally to Shinuiju for trade said, I have not heard news that Kim Jong Il came to Shinuiju at the time.

According to him, when Kim Jong Ils visit was planned, transportation of people and freight between Shinuiju and Dandong was completely blocked for the sake of Kims security.

On the day when Kim visits the city, the railroad bridge between Dandong and Shinuiju is monitored, and nobody can come or go from Shinuiju from a week before the visit until two days after Kim leaves. However, he said there were no such regulations from September to November this year.

A North Korea tourist, who came out early in December through Shiuiju to China, explained the Kim escort system: when he visits some productive facilities, the Escort Bureau and the Defense Security Command of the Peoples Army are in charge of the first line of guard; the National Security Agency in the second line; the Peoples Safety Agency in the third line; and Community Watch Guards of the city and Local reserve forces are in charge of the fourth line. Except for the first and second lines, the others and ordinary residents cannot know why the controls, examinations and regulations are being strengthened.

If Kim Jong Il visits Shinuiju, the border guard at the sides of the Yalu River is generally strengthened. The main roads linking to Shinuiju are blocked and inspected a week earlier than the day.

During Kims stay in the city, all public transportation, buses and trains, are stopped and all kinds of activities are banned.

However, on the day that it was known that Kim stayed in Shinuiju, the tourist said there was nothing special at that time.
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