DPRK Revolutionary Sites: Konji-ri
Located just north of the capital, Pyongyang, and just south of the capital city of South Pyongan Province, Pyongsong, Konji-ri served as the headquarters of the Korean People’s Army for a period of time during the Korean Conflict (1950-53).
The site is set amidst meticulously well-maintained gardens, the centrepiece of which is the original buildings from where the President Kim Il Sung commanded the DPRK forces during the war.
The buildings are housed in a large hanger-style building built over the site in order to prevent weathering of the site.
One of the most significant buildings on the site is the office of the President Kim Il Sung which contains his original desk and even bullet marks caused by a US Air Force attack aircraft which strafed the site with machine gun fire during the war.
Visitors are treated to a tour of the site as well as a trip through the gardens which house burnt bomb casing, a well which you can drink from, and a tunnel network that served as a bunker for the Korean People’s Army command stationed at Konji-ri.
The supreme command of the Korean People’s Army during the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War) between 1950-53 were originally headquartered in Pyongyang, the capital of the DPRK.
However, the aggressive carpet-bombing campaign against the city by the US Air Force and others forced the command to move their headquarters outside the city, to Konji-ri.
The rolling landscape provided adequate cover for their operations until the UN forces began to advance beyond the 38th parallel in the later stages of the war, capturing Pyongyang. This forced the KPA command to move their headquarters north, near the Chinese border, until the UN advance could be supressed.
Today, as with many other sites associated with the President Kim Il Sung, the Konji-ri Revolutionary Site is open to the public, as well as foreign visitors.
Many important areas of the site are marked with plaques; one such area shows the location where Kim Il Sung was photographed in his Korean People’s Army Uniform, another marked bullet holes in his office building where machine gun fire from a US attack aircraft managed to cause only cosmetic damage to the building.
The DPRK is dotted with hundreds of revolutionary sites marking the exploits of the Korean people from the heroic anti-Japanese revolutionaries up to the 1950s Korean Conflict. These sites mark an important part of Korean national history and identity.
Mansudae Korea aims to document as many of these sites as possible in order to further educate people on the official DPRK national history and the legacy of ’70 years of revolution’.