Tuesday, December 20, 2011

North Koreans return from China in droves to mourn Kim Jong Il - 20th Dec 2011

On Dec. 20, the day after the announcement of Kim Jong Il's death, North Koreans living in China crowded into a customs office by the border here, carrying large amounts of supplies and braving temperatures 13 degrees below freezing as they waited to cross the Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge back to their country.

The previous day, nearly 1,000 North Korean residents in Dandong are said to have returned en masse to North Korea. Said one person, "I've heard that if you don't hurry back to (North) Korea, you'll be punished."

On the morning of Dec. 20 as well, returnees to North Korea appeared one after the other at the bridge, and there were even Chinese vendors selling them flowers.

In the middle of the city is an area of many stores selling food, clothing and other items for North Koreans who come there for work. In this area, some North Koreans were loading large bags one after the other into trucks. They said the bags held clothing.

One of them, a 47-year-old woman visiting from Pyongyang, said, "Yesterday, while on a train heading into China, I learned of the great general's passing. I was so taken with grief I almost collapsed." She added, "In South Korea and elsewhere there is talk that our country will fall into chaos, but we are united under the leadership of the Workers' Party of Korea, and that will not change." Read More