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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Grain Storage Facilities

Dig tunnels deep,
store rice everywhere!

North Korea has built reserve rice storage facilities with the target of storing at least one million tons of grain or grain supply sufficient for 170 days national consumption. As of the end of 1995 North Korea had grain storage facilites capable of storing at least 1.42 million tons of grain.

Reserved grains are divided into three categories -- for exclusive military use, military and civilian use, and civilian use:

  • grain for exclusive military use are managed by the Grain Department under the General Logistical Bureau of the Military of the People's Armed Forces;
  • grain for military and civilian use managed by the Logistical Mobilization General Bureau, which is in charge of managing war supplies;
  • grain for civilians use are managed by the Ministry of Food Administration

There are a total of 248 grain storage facilities for reserved grains for military use in North Korea, with approximately 1.2 million ton of grain in these storage facilities. The location and capacity of food storage facilities that have been identified include:

  • 37 areas, including Yangdok and Yonggang County in South Pyongan Province, for 217,000 tons
  • 39 areas, including Kusong City and Pakchon County in North Pyongan Province, for 200,000 tons
  • 28 areas, including Hamju and Yonggwang County in South Hamgyong Province, for 149,000 tons
  • 13 areas, including Yongsong District in Pyongyang, for 69,000 tons.

Beginning in 1987 North Korea built three different types of grain storage facilities -- tunnel-type, silo- type, and half-submerged -- to store war reserve grain for military use. Part of the grain is also kept in open storage areas. The types of North Korean war reserve grain maintenance and storage facilities are as follows:

Half-submerged storage: This is the most basic of storage facilities. A half-submerged storage facility is made of cement concrete and is 14 meters wide, 60 meters long and four meters high. Half-submerged storage facilities are reportedly located in 68 areas, including Yangdok and Sukchon of South Pyongan Province.

Tunnel-type storage facilities: There is one tunnel- type storage facility in Oktol Valley in Yonggang County, South Pyongan Province. There is a rice mill inside the tunnel. A railway is linked to the tunnel entrance. The storage capacity is 100,000 tonnes, all of which is for military use.

Silo-type storage: A silo-type storage facility is cylindrical. Ten cylindrical silos form one silo-type storage faciliy. They are above-ground facilities. They are located in four different areas, including Yangdok and Kaechon in South Pyongan Province.

Open storage type: Rice is stored temporarily in open areas to reduce the moisture level from 15-17 percent at harvest time to 13 percent. They stack rice bags, cover them with straw, and leave them in open storage areas in mountainous areas, inlcuding Tongchon in Kangwon Province and Yongsong District in Pyongyang.

Of the total 73 grain storage facilities located in remote mountain areas which are under the control of the Ministry of People's Armed Forces, North Korea built new half-submerged type grain storage facility at 60 grain storage areas. The construction of these new half-submerged type grain storage facilities began at the end of 1995, when foreign relief goods from international organizations and western countries were sent to North Korea right after floods damage crops. The construction of these grain storage facilities aroused suspicions that the 150,000 tons of rice provided to North Korea by the ROK Government and the 500,000 tons of rice provided by the Japanese Government were diverted for military purposes.

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