Battling to rebuild homes damaged by the flooding, North Korean work gangs are filling sacks with rocks — 20 bags every hour, from dawn to dusk. It’s back-breaking labor.
It is a mark of how serious this disaster is that Kim Jong Un has appealed to the world for help and for money to rebuild. South Korea has already refused. North Korea isn’t asking everyone. “I’m not going to reach out my hand to the United States,” said one official, Ri Song Chol. “Not after 70 years of their aggression.”
Many people are putting their trust in their all-powerful commander-in-chief.
“Our Dear Leader Kim Jong Un promised us he would provide new house for us before winter,” said homeless mother Taw Kyung Wha. “So we believe him.”
For Kim, who rules some of the poorest people on earth, it is risky.
He can’t afford to lose popular support as his father did in the early 1990s when a flood was followed by a terrible famine that left hundreds of thousands dead.