In Manpo, New Motorcycles Appear

Daily NK
Kwon Jeong Hyun

At the landslide restoration of Manpo railroads, only by shovels and hoes

The operations of the Hyesan-Manpo Line connecting the border city of Manpo in Jagang, and Hyesan in Yangkang, has ceased due to a landslide accident occurring at the end of July.

The Hyesan-Manpo Line is the line passing through Jaseong, Jagangdo and connecting to Haesan City through Yangkang’s cities, Kim Hyung Jik and Kim Jong Suk.

On the 30th of August, a landslide accident took place being approximately 1.2 km from the Manpo Marine Transportation Office for the Yalu River upper stream direction. Around 20m of rail was covered by the slide.

To clean up the landslide, railroad laborers were urgently enlisted, but the equipment for restorations consisted only of shovels, hoes, and fertilizer bags, so the fixed date of recovery has continuously been delayed.

Manpo faces Jian in Jilin, China. It is a point of strategic importance for rail transportation. Besides the Hyesan-Manpo Line, which is the branch line for the Yalu River, it is the terminal station of the Manpo Line starting from Sooncheon, South Pyongan and an international train operating once a day to Jian, China is also connected to the city.

North Korea and China alternately operate every other year the international line train connected to Jian, China. Starting this year until next year, North Korean trains will be coming and going from China for two years and from 2009, a Chinese rail will frequent Manpo.

One source related to Jian Station explained, “Through the international rail between Manpo and Jian, North Korea’s timber and medicinal herbs entered China and motorcycles, bicycles, and electric home appliances have gone into North Korea.

Additionally, I have captured on camera images of North Korean civilians at the Yalu River. Initially from the outside, I could confirm that the civilians’ health conditions. attires, and accessories have improved much compared to the past. Chinese-made motorcycles could easily be spotted and the number of cars has increased significantly as well.

A Chosun taxi driver whom I met in Jian explains the defector repatriation situation in the graphic epithet, “Collarbone Steel Lines.”

He said that at the time when two defector women were forcibly captured at the public security office in Jian in 2001, the North Korean public security personnel pierced steel through the collarbones of the women and dragged them. Should I believe such a word-of-mouth tale? It is a similar rumor to the story of defectors, forcibly repatriated through the Hoiryeong tax office in 2000, who were taken by steel lines hooked through the nose.

Due to the continuous inspection of the Jian Police and the neglect of Korean-Chinese society, it is not easy to find defectors in Jian nowadays.

Jian is developing as a tourist spot through which South Korean tourists starting from Dalian and Dandong inevitably pass on their way to Baekdu Mountain.

If one turns his or her head while standing in the front of the monument of Gwanggaeto the Great, North Korea’s propaganda slogan, “Let us thoroughly observe the teachings of the Great General and comrade Kim Il Sung” is discovered.

I am curious what kinds of thoughts will form in South Koreans, who seek Jian in order to find the vestiges of past history, regarding the current progress of North Korea’s history and the approaching reunification.


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