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Photos confirm mobilization of college students at N.K. construction sites

All Headlines 11:15 December 01, 2011

SEOUL, Dec. 1 (Yonhap) -- Recent photos taken by an American visitor confirmed Thursday that North Korea has mobilized its college students in massive construction projects in Pyongyang ahead of a milestone political event next year.

The North has launched the construction drive as part of attempts to build a prosperous nation by next year, the centennial of the birth of the country's late founder, Kim Il-sung, the father of current leader Kim Jong-il.

There have been allegations that universities were dismissed as part of a campaign to build new apartments in the showcase capital.

More than two dozen photos posted on Flickr, a photo sharing site, show some 40 students wearing what appear to be college uniforms crossing a bridge in Pyongyang.

One of the students was seen carrying a flag that read Kim Chaek University of Technology.

Ray Cunningham, an American tourist who took the photos in September, said in a similar photo that students headed to work at the construction sites of Pyongyang.

Cunningham said in another caption that the construction work continues day and night, noting welding can be seen at night.

A different red flag was also seen in a building under construction that reads only Chinese Department, though the college name was not seen.

The mobilization of students caused a spate of accidents at construction sites, fueling rumors that an estimated 200 college students have died, a source familiar with the issue said earlier this week.

The source has a track record of accurate information inside the isolated communist country.

entropy@yna.co.kr
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