A typhoon flailed the North Hamgyong Provincial area in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from August 29 to September 2 this year, bringing uncontrollable disasters ever seen since the country was liberated in August 1945. Due to the rainfall which was the greatest since they began meteorological observation in the Tuman River basin in northern Korea, the water spilled over the river, leaving Hoeryong City, Musan County, Yonsa County, Onsong County, Kyongwon County, Kyonghung County and parts of Rason City inundated, and causing colossal calamities. Hundreds of people were dead or disappeared, and 68 900 became homeless. A total of 29 800 dwelling houses were damaged, 11 600 of them demolished irreparably. More than 900 production facilities and public buildings were destroyed or damaged. Roads were blocked at 180 sections and over 60 bridges seriously destroyed, thus the traffic was shattered. As many as 100 sections of the railway were blocked with silt and the bed washed away, leaving the rail transport in suspension. The electric power substations in Musan and Yonsa counties were inundated or buried in silt and the electric cables cut, thus the power supply was discontinued. Equipment, dams and channels of a number of minor power plants were damaged. The communications network was cut off. As many as 27 400 hectares of farmland were washed away or buried in silt, embankments of rivers and streams broken at 150 spots, and dams and spillways of reservoirs in Kyonghung and Kyongwon counties gave way. The floods caused tremendous calamities to the economic development and the people’s livelihood in North Hamgyong Province.
The colossal disaster brought an unbearable heartbreak to Kim Jong Un. He changed the main thrust of the 200-day campaign to the restoration front in the north. And he made sure that specific measures were taken to carry out the rehabilitation project forcefully by enlisting an all-out effort of the whole Party and society.
Thanks to effective measures of the Party and the State to stabilize the livelihood in the affected areas on the preferential basis, the power and water supplies resumed in several days. Road and communications networks were restored, thus opening the traffic of streams of convoys carrying food, clothes, medical supplies, building materials and equipment and other relief goods and construction forces to the rehabilitation sites.
On September 10, 2016 the WPK Central Committee sent an appeal entitled “Let us achieve the miraculous victory of converting misfortune into favourable conditions on the front of recovering from the flood damage in the northern part of North Hamgyong Province with the tremendous might of single-minded unity!” to all Party members, officers and men of the Korean People’s Army and all other people. The appeal reads in part: “Our Party is determined to work a miracle of turning the misfortune into favourable conditions by recovering from the disastrous damage in the shortest possible period of time through general mobilization and concentration of all human, material and technical potentials of the State for the restoration of the northern areas. In this connection our Party took an important measure of rapidly dispatching the main units active in the major sites of the 200-day campaign including the construction of Ryomyong Street to the sites for the recovery from the flood damage and ensuring that the whole Party and army and all people focus all their efforts on the rehabilitation operations….
“Direct all efforts to the construction of dwelling houses to provide flood-hit people with warm cradles and turn the flooddamaged region into a fairyland in the era of the Workers’ Party within this year….”
“The battle of restoration in the northern areas means the one to defend and serve our people, the one of our Party whose lifeline is pinned to the people-first principle.”
The Party appealed to save the inhabitants in the affected areas from the imminent rigours of the cold winter even if it would cost the whole wealth of the country.
The decision and operations plan of the Party received hearty response from all the service personnel and other people. True to the intention of their leader Kim Jong Un, the entire army and all the people turned out as one to develop the victimized areas into a wonderful place to live in the era of the Workers’ Party of Korea by turning the misfortune into good luck.
Ri Sang Gwan, chairman of the North Hamgyong Provincial People’s Committee, says, “We felt helpless to suffer the unexpected calamities. We were at a loss what to do. Yet there was one thing we were sure of. We believed we would be able to return to our happy life after all because we are under the guidance of our respected leader Kim Jong Un.”
The army and the people are launching a forceful joint struggle to finish the rehabilitation campaign as soon as possible. The army is playing the leading role. It is carrying out the most difficult, laborious tasks in the spirit of “At a go.” A huge number of builders and other people are working at the reconstruction sites voluntarily. They are doing the building jobs at the highest possible level of quality to be admired even in the distant future, making as sincere efforts as they would do for their own flesh and blood.
All fields and units including the Cabinet, ministries, national agencies, factories, cooperative organizations, are forcefully conducting the activities of producing even a ton of more cement and even a kg of more rice and raising even a penny of more funds to be supplied to the rehabilitation project as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, all the people across the country are offering selfless spiritual and material aids regarding it as their own affair to relieve the victims of their misfortune and sufferings.
Yom Song Hui