N.Korea 'Building Shrine to Kim Jong-il's Heir'

      July 16, 2010 07:48

      The North Korean regime is building a kind of shrine in honor of leader Kim Jong-il's son and heir apparent Jong-un in Pyongyang, according to a Tokyo-based North Korea activist group. Lee Young-hwa of Rescue North Korean People Urgent Action Network made the claim Thursday.

      Lee told the Chosun Ilbo the regime started laying down railway tracks between central Pyongyang and the city's Kangdong district in March last year. It halted the work last summer but resumed it this month, while also building what will be billed as the "birth house" of Kim Jong-un.

      "This is information we've obtained from a helper of ours in the North. We believe it's almost certainly true," he said.

      "The regime is making out that Jong-un's first hometown is Kangdong and his second one Wonsan," he said. "But we don't know if he was actually born in Kangdong." Ko Young-hee, his mother, arrived at Wonsan from Japan in the early 1960s.

      Kangdong is where the regime claims it discovered the ancient burial site of Dangun, the legendary founder of the first Korean kingdom in 2333 BC, and where it set up a statue of nation founder Kim Il-sung's father Kim Hyong-jik. Because of this, there is speculation that the regime is building Jong-un's birth house there to highlight that he is carrying on the "revolutionary tradition."

      The Daily NK, a Seoul-based online newspaper focusing on issues relating to the North, reported a similar story at a seminar in Tokyo on May 13 based on interviews with Pyongyang residents.

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