DPRK taking steps to launch new economic area in Sinuiju

According to the Choson Ilbo (2007-8-2):

North Korea early this year declared Shinuiju, a border town in North Pyongan Province, a special economic zone, North Korean officials said. Some 3,000 households in Pyongyang are to be relocated to Shinuiju under an urban development project launched there in June.

During a recent visit to China, a North Korean official told an official from the Chinese border city of Dandong the North will relocate Pyongyang citizens to the Shinuiju Special Economic Zone since they are “ideologically prepared.” Some will be assigned as workers to an industrial complex, who will be joined by officials from the Ministry of Public Security and the State Security Department, and police officers and their families.

A Dandong official said, “I understand that housing prices in the Shinuiju area have skyrocketed due to rumors that Pyongyang citizens will move in.” He said North Korean authorities plan to evict 3,000 households from Shinuiju to the city’s suburbs to make room for the newcomers. Public and state security officers in Shinuiju have begun making a list of those with dubious backgrounds and who are ideologically suspect, which rumor has it will result in a roster for eviction.

Meanwhile, the Yalu River estuary is being dredged and all private houses near Shinuiju Railway Station are being demolished, while the special economic zone is being surrounded new by barbed-wire tangles and fences.

A North Korean source based in Dandong said an earlier Shinuiju special economic zone project promoted by Yang Bin, a Chinese, was aimed at making money through casinos and entertainment facilities. But on North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s instructions, the current project is designed to build a city that can play the same role as both the Kaesong Industrial Complex and the Najin-Sunbong Free Trade Zone.

Read the full story here:
N.Korea Starts Clearing Special Economic Zone
Choson Ilbo
2007-8-2

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