Kim Family Home Makeover in Sinu’iju?

Overview of the two residences at the Songhan Compound on the outskirts of Sinu’iju, North P’yo’ngan Province. According to the Daily NK, ongoing renovation and remodeling work has been taking place since July 2023 (Photo: Google image)

Daily NK reports that the Kim Family compound on the outskirts of Sinu’iju is undergoing a three-month renovation.  The construction work began during July and if DNK’s source is correct, it will probably continue until October.  According to DNK, there is an increased security presence in the area, likely from the Sinu’iju Public Security Department, and guards are warding off looky-loo’s, especially those taking photos on their cell phones.

Overview of the Songhan VIP Residential Compound near Sinu’iju. The yellow lines indicate the walls and fences around the perimeter of the compound (Photo: Google image).

According to DNK’s source, the renovation orders come directly from Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n).  The DNK article refers to a “Central Committee Construction Bureau” which is either an external-use name for the Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Finance and Accounting Department’s 8th Bureau, or the FAD 8th Bureau has migrated into another Central Committee organization.  The DNK item also refers to a singular “villa,” but the Songhan Compound has two large residences–one which was designated for the exclusive use of late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and one which was designated for the exclusive use of KJU’s father, late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il).

Photo: Google image

There are two additional things to note about the Songhan Compound.  First, the KIS residence on the premises has not been demolished.  This was the case with the residence near Mt. Myohyang (where KIS passed away in 1994) which met the wrecking ball around 2009.  The KJI Residence at the Ryongsong Compound was demolished in 2012.  Secondly, the Songhan Compound enjoys a certain degree of favor with KJU and the Personal Secretariat in terms of its personnel and supply; in contrast to other VIP compounds (including buildings near KJU’s headquarters at the Central Committee Office Building) the exterior of the structures have not fallen into a state of disrepair.  This could indicate that the residential compound, as indicated in the DNK report, has a special status with KJU and/or the individual who manages and administers the compound (generally a core elite who previously served as a Central Committee Department Deputy Director) knows how to work the Guard Command and FAD logistics networks.

Photo: Google image
View Original Article
Stay informed about our latest
news, publications, & uploads:
I'm interested in...
38 North: News and Analysis on North Korea