September 03, 2015

Images of Flood Damage in Rason

By Raymond Ha, HRNK Outreach Coordinator

On August 22–23, the Rajin-Sonbong (Rason) special economic zone in the northeastern region of North Korea suffered torrential downpours, resulting in widespread flooding. Radio Free Asia has reported that “more than 40 people are believed to have lost their lives…while 1,000 homes have likely been damaged.” [1] Pyongyang has appealed for international aid, and the IFRC, WFP, and organizations in Germany and the United Kingdom are assessing or considering the provision of emergency aid. [2]

The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea has obtained recent images of flood damage in Rason, courtesy of Mr. Jung Gwang-Il, the founder and executive director of No Chain: The Association of North Korean Political Victims and Their Families. Mr. Jung, a survivor of political prison camp no. 15, is a key witness and contributor to HRNK’s upcoming report Hidden Gulag IV: Gender Repression & Prisoner Disappearances, which will be launched on Friday, September 18.

This photograph appears to show a kindergarten in Rason. 
The red text on the banner above the doorway reads “Thank you, Dear General Kim Jong-un.” 
The six letters in the foreground, written on the lower fence, reads “We are happy.”

A flooded street in Rason.
The red sign on the right side of the picture reads "Self-reliant nature."

A resident clears debris on the street.

[1] “Global NGO To Redistribute Flood Aid in North Korea’s Rason,” Radio Free Asia, 02 September 2015.

[2] Lee Bong-Seok, “국제사회, 앞다퉈 북한 홍수 피해 지원 나서,” Yonhap News, 03 September 2015.