October 23, 2020

The Ryongchon blast: why one of North Korea’s worst disasters remains a mystery

Many believed the explosion represented an attempt on Kim Jong Il's life

One of the most important events of North Korean history of the 2000s was the Ryongchon catastrophe.

It was a massive explosion, which occurred at Ryongchon station, in North Phyongan province, the same day Kim Jong Il’s train passed through. Long rumored to have been an assassination attempt on the so-called "Great Commander," it resulted in a five year long era of counter-reforms in North Korea.