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North Korea completes repairs on Mansu Hill statues

The white screen around the statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill in Pyongyang looked pink in a Maxar satellite image taken on May 19. But the screen was gone and the statues back to their original state in a satellite image taken on June 5. Imagery=WorldView-2 (©2024 Maxar, U.S.G. Plus)

North Korean authorities have recently completed repairs to the statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in front of the Korean Revolution Museum on Mansu Hill in Pyongyang, Daily NK has learned.

Recent Maxar satellite images confirm the removal of a canvas covering the statues of the North Korean founder and his son and the restoration of the statues to their original condition.

Satellite images taken in late April, after the April 25 holiday celebrating the founding of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army (KPRA), showed cranes and rebar around the statues. An image taken in early May showed the statues hidden behind a white screen.

A satellite image taken on May 19 still showed a screen covering the two statues and a pile of construction materials on the side. In this image, the white canvas appeared pink, and ropes, like those used to hold up a tent, were attached to the base of the statues at the corners of the canvas.

But in a satellite image taken on June 5, the canvas is completely gone, along with the pile of construction materials that had been next to the statues.

Repairs completed on elevator to protect statues in case of emergency

According to a source in North Korea, authorities completed repairs to the statues in late May, including replacing parts of an automated elevator that can lower the statues into an underground tunnel.

North Korea carried out two phases of repairs to the Mansu Hill statues. The first phase reportedly included upgrading the lightning rods, removing bird droppings and other debris, removing rust, polishing the plating, and repainting. This work was carried out by the Repair and Restoration Department of North Korean Leadership Statues at the Mansudae Art Studio, the Mansu Hill Statue Maintenance Office, and the Repair and Restoration Department of the Korean Revolution Museum.

According to the source, a sound system that plays music around the clock to create a solemn atmosphere around the Mansu Hill statues was also replaced as part of the first phase of repairs.

The second phase of repairs, which consisted of replacing parts of the elevator that can lower the statues into an underground tunnel in case of emergency, was carried out by the maintenance team of the Supreme Leader’s Security Team, which is in charge of the tunnel.

“The hydraulic elevator in the tunnel under the Mansu Hill statues was originally installed with Chinese machinery, but it was replaced with Russian machinery and parts during these repairs,” the source said.

As North Korea strengthens its ties with Russia, it appears to be importing a variety of Russian-made machinery and parts.

People pay respects to statues after repairs

The source added that “a thin cloth was used to cover the white screen for security purposes while the elevator parts were replaced in the underground tunnel. The construction was still visible through the white screen, so it was covered with a colored cloth, as shown in the satellite image.

North Korean authorities appear to be allowing people to pay their respects at the Mansu Hill statues again after the repairs are completed.

Rodong Sinmun reported on June 4 that participants in an event commemorating the 78th anniversary of the founding of the Korean Children’s Union also visited Mansu Hill and laid wreaths in front of the two statues there.

Daily NK works with a network of sources living in North Korea, China, and elsewhere. Their identities remain anonymous for security reasons. For more information about Daily NK’s network of reporting partners and information-gathering activities, please visit our FAQ page here.

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Read in Korean

June 18, 2024 at 12:00PM

by DailyNK(North Korean Media)

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