Uncharacteristic apology after building collapse in Pyongyang
In an uncharacteristic step by the North Korean government, officials have made a public apology after a building collapse in Pyongyang reportedly led to the death of hundreds of people.
Officials including the country’s Minister of People’s Security offered “profound consolation and apology” to the family members of those that died in the 24-storey building collapse on Tuesday.
The Minister of People’s Security, Choe Pu-il, said that his poor supervision had led to the “unimaginable accident” and that he had “repented” after the accident. He added that “he failed to find out factors that can put at risk the lives and properties of the people and to take thorough-going measures.”
Reports also say that the leader of the secretive Communist state, Kim Jong-un, had been deeply affected by the accident and that he had “sat up all night, feeling painful” when he had heard about the accident.
North Korean authorities rarely give coverage to incidents that might lead to negative public perceptions, however in this case, not only did KCNA, North Korea’s state news channel, show images of the collapse, they also showed footage of the rescue effort and statements of apology from government officials.
This entry was posted in DPRK Government, Kim Jong Un by Grant Montgomery.
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The death toll from the high-rise apartment collapse in Pyongyang on May 13 stands at more than 400, Chosun Ilbo sources said. Authorities are clearing debris from the site of the building collapse and have placed a camouflage net over the ruin in order to prevent exposure to satellite photos.
One source familiar said, “There is talk that around 400 to 490 people were killed in the accident. The building collapsed around 5 to 6 p.m. so many kids had come home from school by then, and there were many women and elderly people as well.”
The high-rise apartment that collapsed had yet to be completed, but around 92 households had already started moving in around late November. They apparently included members of North Korea’s State Security Department and Workers Party officials as well as members of the commercial elite who had apparently paid more than US$30,000 each.
Another source said, “North Korean officials were quick to apologize after the accident because most of the residents were key officials [of the North Korean regime].”
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