North Korea appears to have mobilized its military to construct dwellings for victims of the recent large-scale flooding in the country’s Rason region, according to a report from Korean Central Television (KCTV) released yesterday.
The report shows the large scale project under construction with the frameworks of many houses already in place. The construction is spread across two sites in Rason’s Baekhak and Yuhyun districts.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un also visited the construction site last week, according to a report from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
“(The soldiers) are encouraged by Kim Jong Un’s visit, and have completed the basic construction. Now, they are doing working on roofs and interiors,” the KCTV report said.
Photos and video of the work show a large number of new houses under construction. The KCTV piece adds the houses will be private residences, however it is not clear when work on the construction started.
The DPRK Red Cross Society is also involved in relief efforts, however when contacted by NK News were not aware of the large-scale construction projects in the area.
Instead the society is conducting a four month relief operation of its own. Latest figures from the relief organization indicate 89 people were killed in the flood, with a further 10 missing and 22,656 people affected.
“In two different major floods, the country received more than half of its annual average rainfall (321mm) causing wide spread damage and loss to lives, properties and belongings,” the most recent September report from the DPRK Red Cross Society reads.
Their response included increasing allocated budgets to over $400,000, from approximately $200,000. A KCNA report from yesterday indicated the DPRK Red Cross had established systems to provide fresh drinking water to the displaced Rason residents.
The society has also called for a meeting later this month in Beijing involving all the countries in the organization currently supporting the DPRK. The meeting was planned before the Rason flood, however it is likely the disaster will be on the agenda.
“During the meeting the DPRK Red Cross Society will share information on the needs, achievements and impact of integrated program so far, challenges and expectations for future cooperation. We will jointly discuss how to best mobilize support, how to better cooperate and harmonize the humanitarian assistance needed,” Hler Gudjonsson East Asia Regional Communications Delegate told NK News.
North Korea is well-known to experience cycles of droughts earlier in the year followed by floods in August. While similar weather is seen south of the border, the DPRK has limited coping mechanisms for limiting the damage.
Additional reporting by Hyunbi Park
Featured image: KCTV
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