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North Korean Leadership Facilities

Province Direction
from city center
Anju South Pyongan 13 km E 39.6352 N 125.8103 E
Changsong North Pyongan 9 km W 40.4403 N 125.1181 E
Changsuwon Pyongyang 15 km NE 39.1160 N 125.8775 E
Hyangsan North Pyongan 15 km SE 39.9719 N 126.3216 E
Kangdong Pyongyang 30 km NE 39.2013 N 126.0206 E
Lung Shing Pyongyang 12 km NE 39.1163 N 125.8058 E
Nampo South Pyongan 9 km NW 38.7777 N 125.3212 E
Paektusan Ryanggang 7 km NW 41.8576 N 128.2747 E
Pyongsong South Pyongan 11 km NW 39.3387 N 125.8040 E
Ragwon South Hamgyong 5 km S 39.8577 N 127.7806 E
Ryokpo Pyongyang 19 km SE 38.9112 N 125.9229 E
Samsok Pyongyang 21 km NE 39.1022 N 125.9738 E
Sinuiju North Pyongan 8.5 km E 40.0815 N 124.4993 E
Wonsan Kangwon 5 km NE 39.1886 N 127.4777 E

North Korean state media often touted Kim Jong Il as a simple, non-luxury leader. In a one report, the internet media run by the North Korean Nation Peace and Reunification Committee, emphasized Kim Jong Il's naivete by saying that Kim Jong Il had been frugal since he was a child. His son Kim Jong-un however, is another matter. The grandson of the dynasty is a fancy dresser, and frequently sports suits of herringbone cloth, unlike the plain cotton that is standard North Korean fare.

However, unlike Kim Il Sung's teaching, the fact that the Kim dynasty enjoyed a luxurious life was widely known to the world through witnesses and sources who watched them. Kenji Fujimoto, a former chef of Kim Jong-il, wrote his autobiographical "Kim Jong-Il's Cook". There were over 15 delicacies enjoyed by Kim Jong Il. And enjoying a banquet. Lee Han Young, a nephew of Kim Jong Il's sister, Sung Hye-rim, also shocked many with an autobiography that Kim Jong Il had bought a million dollar worth of gifts from foreign countries on her son's birthday.

The Kim dynasty's lavish life was confirmed by the existence of 33 private villas built throughout North Korea, officially disclosed by South Korea. According to the data submitted by the Korean military and intelligence agencies to the inspection of the National Assembly in October 2009, Kim Jong Il had four villas in Pyongyang, Pyongyang, Yongsung, Pyongyang, Wonsan and Sinuiju, Gangdong. The South Korean military and intelligence authorities said they have identified the location of these private villages used by Kim Jong Il through satellite imagery.

An American economist found satellite imagery of Kim dynasty mansions on Google earth. Cutis Melvin, an American economist and a researcher at George Mason University, published imagery that he discovered on Google earth. He said this was the mansion of North Koreas top leader Kim Jong-il. The swimming poll in the picture is 15 meters wide and 50 meters long. A South Korea official said, This picture is Kims No. 21 mansion in Lung Shing, a suburb of Pyongyang. Its said that No. 21 mansion was Kims main residents in Pyongyang. However, Hazel Smith, a North Korea expert, said that its a tough work to get the exact location of Kims residents. This satellite photograph seems similar to other diplomatic mansions she had encountered.

This is a famlliar pattern. Modern authoritrian leaders have erected contemporarypalace residences in the capitals and many secondary cities. Unlike the traditional palaces, these new residences generally reside outside the city core, typically in an urbanized suburb or a suburb devoted exclusively to government functions. These modern palaces can be quite large, contemporary, opulent, and can include numerous parks, significant underground facilities, and significant support complexes.

The nearly 80 palaces and VIP residences in Iraq were purely for the enjoyment of Saddam Hussein, his family, and key supporters as a reward for their loyalty. Saddam's inner circle was immune from harsh living conditions facing the general population. In many cases, Saddam's palaces served more than one purpose: official residences, military compounds, government office, resort-like villas, farms and VIP housing. The United Nations identified eight palaces as potential weapons of mass destruction and subjected them to inspections. The grounds outside contained heavily irrigated gardens, clusters of pools, manmade lakes, waterfalls and fish aquariums.

One feature common to Iraqi and North Korean palaces are large pools of water, with a total surface area vastly greater than the floor space of the buildings. It is believed that there were underground facilities under these pools, which were thus hidden from precision munitions.

Such states have return addresses in the form ofattackable assets, including leaders who value their lives. In the case of Iraq, these assets included the person of Saddam Hussein, his internal security services, the Special Republican Guard, the Republican Guard, the Bath Party leadership, and Saddams palaces. It was revealed that under Saddams opulent palaces were mammoth bunkers, fortified with steel and pre-stressed concrete. The architecture of this complex was Saddams psychological architecture: a defiant, grandiose facade resting on the well-fortified foundation of a siege mentality.

Determining the location, design, and function of official government residences is key planning information at both the operational and tactical levels of war. Palaces must be carefully assessed to see if they warrant identification as an operational-level decisive point. In addition to being a potential location of military and political leadership, these massive complexes may also contain sensitive intelligence information, command-and-control facilities, and facilities to store or manufacture weapons of mass destruction. At the tactical level, the size of the residence and the likelihood of significant defenses require careful shaping of the battle space, deliberate planning and preparation, and swift and decisive application of combat power.

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Page last modified: 13-02-2018 10:18:55 ZULU