Pyongyang General Hospital Demonstrates “Love For The People”

Kim was furious when he received reports  that officials tried to import Chinese, not European, medical equipment. Those involved in the import of this equipment were reportedly executed……….

By Seulkee Jang – 2021.07.07 2:07pm

North Korean authorities are planning an event to officially open the Pyongyang General Hospital early next year. It appears North Korean leader Kim Jong Un intends to highlight his “love for the people” with an opening ceremony timed to mark the 10th anniversary of his ascent to power.

According to a high-ranking Daily NK source in North Korea on Tuesday, the Central Committee issued an order on June 20 to relevant organs such as the Ministry of External Economic Relations and Foreign Ministry about preparations for the official opening of the Pyongyang General Hospital.

While no specific date has been fixed for opening the hospital, it will very likely open its doors sometime between January and April of next year. This is because the country’s leadership aims to hold the opening event to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Kim coming to power.

Kim officially came to power when he was named First Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea on April 11, 2012, the year after the death of his father and predecessor Kim Jong Il in December of 2011.

According to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, North Korean authorities have chosen to hold the opening ceremony early next year to promote the facility as a “gift from the Supreme Leader for the people” while highlighting Kim’s accomplishments over the past 10 years.

Currently, a battalion of technicians with the First Brigade is stationed at the hospital construction site on orders from the Central Committee, carrying out unspecified “repairs.”

Pyongyang General Hospital’s exterior and landscaping were completed at the end of last year, but workers are not making progress in finishing the facility’s interiors and installing medical equipment.

At a groundbreaking ceremony on Mar. 17 of last year, Kim called on people to “come together as one” to complete construction of the hospital “at all costs” by the 75th anniversary of the founding of the ruling party on Oct. 10, 2020.

However, Kim’s order could not be carried out due to the closure of the China-North Korea border, restrictions on trade, flood recovery efforts, and foreign currency shortages.

Kim has fumed about delays in completing Pyongyang General Hospital in the presence of high-ranking party cadres, but nobody involved was punished. The source said no one was punished because Kim recognized that delays were inevitable given the circumstances.

Kim was furious, however, when he received reports from the Ministry of External Economic Relations in April of this year that officials tried to import Chinese, not European, medical equipment. Those involved in the import of this equipment were reportedly executed, based on the source’s account.

North Korean trade and diplomatic personnel stationed overseas are now doing all they can to send back European medical equipment.

Multiple Daily NK sources in North Korea believe, however, that given current budgetary limits and the broad deadline for the opening of the hospital, some Chinese-made medical equipment will ultimately be used in the facility.

North Korean authorities may also find it difficult to begin full-scale operations at the hospital early next year.

“The Pyongyang General Hospital is so massive that it will be impossible to completely equip the hospital by early next year,” the high-ranking source told Daily NK. “They might start operations in only a few areas of the hospital that have been equipped for the opening event.”

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