North Korea calls for 'second phase' construction in Samjiyon County

By Elizabeth Shim
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Samjiyon County in 2017. File Photo by KCNA/UPI
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Samjiyon County in 2017. File Photo by KCNA/UPI | License Photo

SEOUL, March 18 (UPI) -- The Kim Jong Un regime is calling for a "phase two" in the development of Samjiyon County, an area of North Korea he visited three times in 2018.

Pyongyang's Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said Tuesday the construction at Samjiyon is "expanding" in the "spirit of the revolution." North Korea continues to stress a socialist method of economic planning.


"The commanders of the 216th Division, military builders, storm troopers are expanding the second phase of Samjiyon construction with their [capacity] for self-regeneration, a spirit of revolution based on the overcoming of hardship," the Rodong said.

Kim has inspected the area adjacent to Mount Paektu. His visit in October 2018 was publicized through more than 40 photographs of him at the snow-covered site. He also visited Samjiyon in July and October to provide "field guidance," according to state media.

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The North Korean leader also mentioned the area in his New Year's address. He had said Samjiyon County should be transformed into a "mountain culture city" that is also an example of a "socialist utopia." Samjiyon and North Korea's Wonsan-Kalma tourist zone have been prioritized in Kim's plan to rebuild North Korea.


The Rodong said construction is moving according to plan, and that in February Samjiyon fulfilled "102 percent" of its construction goals. Preparations are also under way for residences, according to state media.

North Korea is stressing socialist planning as U.S. firms continue to point out North Korea may be still trying to hack U.S. infrastructure.

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Troy Stangarone of the Korea Economic Institute in Washington recently wrote in The Diplomat Operation Sharpshooter, once believed to have accessed systems in 87 companies, has more clear links to Lazarus Group than previously believed.

Lazarus Group is a cybercrime group with ties to North Korea.

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