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Kim Jong-il believed to have hidden in a bunker

Apr 14,2003
South Korean intelligence sources said yesterday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il spent most of the 50 days he was not seen in public, from mid-February through March, at a retreat at Mount Baekdu, where a bunker is equipped to monitor and control North Korean military forces. It is also believed to be relatively safe from a nuclear attack, both in the design of the structure and in its proximity to China.
Mr. Kim’s seclusion fueled much speculation about his whereabouts. It coincided with a period of increased U.S. military presence on the Korean Peninsula and with the first two weeks of the U.S.-led war in Iraq. Mr. Kim re-emerged April 3 with a group of senior military officers inspecting a military medical school in Pyeongyang.
His last previous public appearance was a visit to the Russian Embassy in Pyeongyang on Feb. 12, soon after the United States deployed additional aircraft and an aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, to the Korean Peninsula. The planes included B-1 and B-52 bombers and the Constant Phoenix WC-135W, which detects debris from nuclear weapons detonations. The deployment preceded annual joint military training exercises conducted by the South Korean and U.S. militaries. The United States Forces Korea has said that personnel and equipment that took part in the exercises are being withdrawn from the region, except for an unspecified capability being left behind for an indeterminate period.
The Samjiyeon compound, on a foothill of Mount Baekdu, houses two hideaways for the North Korean leader and an underground control post that is believed to be nuclear-attack-safe. Samjiyeon is believed to be the only retreat in North Korea that is equipped with both residential quarters for the leader and an operational command post.


by Unification and Diplomatic Team


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