North Korea: Underground Republic

I just spotted this great five-month old article on the Daily NK website. Written by a defector from North Korea, it alleges to describe Kim Jong Il’s various offices, secret facilities, and homes around the country.

Kim Jong Il founded a special military engineering unit and proceeded the underground facility project for the past several decades. For this reason, North Korea probably has the best skill to dig underground in the world.

North Korea is “Underground Republic”

The subway in Pyongyang was built mostly between lithosphere about 80m to100m underground. However the underground road for Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il were built much deeper underground than the subway. By building underground facilities, Kim Jong Il is able to create fear in the society while making economic profit by exporting tunnel digging skills to the countries with ties in preparation for both the conventional and nuclear wars.

The outstanding achievements of the underground facilities is the residences and chalets for Kim Jong Il. In case for the exhibition, the residence contains basic equipments and all the residents and chalets, including the inner facilities of the chalets, are connected to each other.

Reading this piece there are two things that strike me. First, how awful it is that Kim Jong Il has raped his own country, exploiting his people and every resource they possess to build such a large number of these ludicrously extravagant structures for nothing but his own personal amusement. He easily puts Saddam Hussein to shame in this department.

The second thing that strikes me also allows for comparison with Saddam Hussein. Everyone remembers how pathetic Saddam’s defenses really were, how quicky his army and government collapsed, and his ignonimous capture hiding out in a little hole in the ground.

Read the following description of North Korea’s underground battle HQ and then try and imagine how a war against North Korea would compare with the recent one against Saddam Hussein’s government. (I’m not even going to mention the ongoing war in Iraq, which I would consider a separate campaign.)

Youngsung 21 Complex

This is North Korea’s “underground wartime headquarter.” In case a war breaks out, the Supreme commander unit, bureaucratic department, commanding department, worker’s party unit and other departments are to be stationed together at this place. In case of a nuclear war, (it is known to have) the walls built with iron rods and concrete covered with lead will protect the headquarter. They facility was completed in 1983.

There are numerous military units to protect the headquarter stationed around the building in possession of mass scale conventional weapons. The size of the lot is about as big as a block in North Korea, and there are enough of supplies for the headquarter to survive for ten years without any outside contact.

The headquarter complex is connected to the main chalets and has a subway of its own, which are all connected with the underground tunnels. It is also connected to the Jamo Mountain Chalet in Sunchun-gun, which is located about 40km away from Pyongyang.

If, as President Bush must fantasize as he gently rocks himself to sleep at night, we actually did invade North Korea, the chances of humbling Kim Jong Il as Saddam was humbled seem most remote indeed. In fact, I imagine that everything that has happened (and will happen) in Iraq, as bad as it is, is nothing compared to the devastation that would result from any war involving North Korea.

For those who don’t know much about the Great Generallisimo Kim Jong Il, let me refresh your memory with this manga profile I translated from Japanese some time back.