The North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, has a network of 1,000 foot deep emergency escape tunnels connecting Pyongyang with key sites around the country, a top-level defector claims, the Times of London reported.
The tunnels, reminiscent of the lair of a James Bond villain, are reported to contain railway lines, a water supply and even vegetation. According to Hwang Jang Yop, formerly North Korea’s chief political philosopher, they connect areas as far as 30 miles away from Pyongyang, enabling the country’s leaders to escape the capital and ultimately sail to China via a West coast port.
“There were fresh water and grass growing within an underground tunnel that linked Pyongyang to a nearby mountain,” Hwang told Radio Free Asia, a station supported by the U.S. Government, which broadcasts into North Korea for three hours a day.
“In particular, an ultra-deep underground tunnel was built to connect one of Kim’s residences in Pyongyang to [the then port city of] Nampo.”
Hwang said that the tunnels also connect to Yeongwon, the site of a mountain villa, where Kim Il Sung, Kim’s father and North Korea’s founding president, died of a heart attack in 1994. They also travel to Suncheon, north of Pyongyang, which is reported to be the site of a uranium mine.
During the 1950-53 Korean War, North Korea suffered intense American bombing raids. Since then, it has hidden many of its military assets in vast underground bases, which include missile silos, aircraft hangars, and naval ports, according to the South Korean government and U.S. military, the paper reported.