North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Siege Mentality Tunnel of Love

So, while Pyongyang watchers wait around for the sixty or so hours for the Bosworth-Kang summit to conclude in a mushroom cloud of white or black smoke, a few stories are still emerging from and around the DPRK.  The ever-reliable Tony Chang from Yonhap has a write-up on an RFA broadcast of a Hwang Jang-yop discourse.  On a pedantically repetitive note, Mr. Hwang is one of the highest level DPRK defectors, having been a KWP Secretary of Ideology and President of Kim Il-sung University.  Mr. Hwang held forth on tunnels constructed below Pyongyang: “[he] claimed that there were secret tunnels built more than 300 meters (984 feet) below ground, linking Pyongyang with strategic locations within a radius of 40 to 50 kilometers . . . passages were connected with underground railway networks and were built to be used as escape routes and shelter for the country’s leader and top officials in emergencies […] There were fresh water and grass growing within a underground tunnel that linked Pyongyang to a nearby mountain. In particular, an ultra-deep underground tunnel was built to connect one of Kim’s residences in Pyongyang to Nampo (on the western coast).”

Also mentioned is a tunnel that runs from the DPRK to China, presumably from the Kim Family Residence in Changsong, North Pyongan.   There also accounts (not in this particular iteration) of a tunnel with subway system that runs from a residence around Taesong or Samsok District, Pyongyang to Pyongsong, possibly to the Jamo Mountain Chalet.  There is also a tunnel near a North Korean elite residential area in Kangdong County (suburban Pyongyang)  that runs under the Taedong River into another elite residential area.  There are also several command and control centers located around Pyongyang, one of which is a Guard Command station located in Ryongsong District near the so-called #55 Residence.  In the event of a sudden crisis affecting the stability of the current leadership in the DPRK, central authority will likely reside with the Guard Command (which is directly subordinate to Kim Jong-il) and the State Security Department mobilized.


This article was written on 08 Dec 2009, and is filled under Guard Command, internal crisis, State Security Department.

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