Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
The DPRK opened the Hu’ich’o’n Power Station in Chagang Province on Thursday (5 April). Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium President Kim Yong Nam, DPRK Cabinet Premier Choe Yong Rim, National Defense Commission [NDC] Vice Chairman and Minister of the People’s Armed Forces VMar Kim Yong Chun, KWP Secretary Choe Tae Bok, KWP Secretary and Director of General Affairs Tae Jong Su, Gen. Yun Jong Rin and DPRK Vice Premier and State Planning Commission Chairman Ro Tu Chol were among the members of the central leadership to attend the opening ceremony. Choe Yong Rim delivered the keynote address. Choe was last reported to have visit the construction site of Huichon Power Station on 20 February 2012. Xinhua reports:
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) said Friday that its Huichon power station has started operations, which will help ease electricity shortages in the capital.
Premier Choe Yong Rim told an inauguration ceremony on Thursday that the Huichon power station was “a brilliant fruition of the wise guidance of late leader Kim Jong Il,” official newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported.
The power station, located in Jagang Province, will also help protect cultivated land and residential areas along the Chongchon River from flooding, and ensure an ample supply of water to the industrial establishments in Huichon and Namhung areas, according to official media reports.
The Central Committee and Central Military Commissions of the Workers’ Party of Korea sent a joint congratulatory message to builders and members of shock brigades.
The party “will always remember the heroic feats performed by the builders who erected a gigantic structure for the country’s prosperity and its people’s happiness,” the message said.
The message said it took only three years to complete the construction of the power station, a project which normally needs more than 10 years to finish.
The Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly issued a decree on April 1 awarding the Kim Il Sung Prize for the design of the Huichon power station.
North Korea said Friday that it has dedicated a new hydroelectric power plant in its central northern area bordering China, a project long touted as a symbol of its bid for the construction of a “strong and prosperous state.”
“The construction of the Huichon Power Station has been completed in the DPRK,” the North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, adding that a dedication ceremony took place on Thursday.
DPRK is the acronym for the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“The builders finished the construction of the power station in a matter of three years though it would have taken more than a decade at normal pace,” the KCNA said.
Chronic shortage of electricity and other energy has long been one of the problems beleaguering the North’s moribund economy, which has been under sanctions by the international community due to its nuclear and missile tests.
“The completion makes it possible to more satisfactorily settle the shortage of electricity in Pyongyang, protect cultivated land and residential areas along the River Chongchon from flooding and ensure an ample supply of industrial water to the industrial establishments in the Huichon and Namhung areas,” KCNA said.
The plant, which has a generating capacity of 300,000 kilowatts, was launched by late leader Kim Jong-il, who reportedly visited the construction site eight times before his death last December to order an early completion of the project.
North Korea has designated 2012 as a moment in its history to rise as “a great, powerful and prosperous nation” — a propaganda slogan that was spearheaded by Kim Jong-il.
New economic goals were announced in 2009 that called for undertaking major construction projects as well as modernizing farms and factories in time for the centennial birth of the communist country’s founder, Kim Il-Sung, on April 15.
Earlier, North Korea announced plans to launch a satellite on the back of a long-range rocket as part of the April celebrations. The international community has urged Pyongyang to cancel the launch, warning that it would be seen as a violation of a ban on missile activity.
The opening of the Huichon Power Station in Jagang Province, north of Pyongyang, was the first big ceremony in a month of celebrations timed for the April centenary of the birth of late President Kim Il Sung.
The power station on the Chongchon River, which had been under construction for more than three years, was a favored project of late leader Kim Jong Il. Kim had visited the project at least five times before his December death.
Son Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s new leader, visited the construction site with his father in August 2011.
The power station is North Korea’s largest, with two dams and a network of tunnels. The dams harness water from the Jangja and Chongchon Rivers. Construction on a second power station further down the Chongchon River is due to begin soon, said the top officials who spoke at Thursday’s ceremony.
North Korea suffers from an acute power shortage.
New economic goals announced in 2009 called for undertaking major construction projects such as the Huichon Power Station as well as modernizing farms and factories in time for the April 2012 festivities.
North Korea will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birth on April 15.
North Korea also has announced plans to launch a satellite on the back of a long-range rocket as part of the celebrations. The United States and other nations have urged Pyongyang to cancel the launch, warning that it would be seen as a violation of a ban on missile activity.