By 2000, however, the Chongjin Railway Factory appears to have begun slowly recovering and was reported to be repairing “trains using innovating technology.” It was apparently also diversifying as a report from August 2000 states that the factory was now also repairing tractors. While this may have been a reflection of the expanding practice for industrial facilities to undertake work outside their normal area of operations, it appears to be more an indication that the factory was still facing significant challenges in procuring raw materials (for railcar production). This assertion appears supported by a nationwide campaign that year to collect scrap iron for use in steel mills. The Ministry of Railways was responsible for transporting the collected scrap iron to the steel mills and claimed great success in doing so. In December 2000, the Korean Central Broadcasting System reported that the Chongjin Railway Factory had “achieved its annual plans.” These claims on the surface, however, appear difficult to accept.
Throughout 2001 there were reports that the Chongjin Railway Factory was accelerating the repair of freight cars and had been one of 92 industrial enterprises granted awards for their achievements. Such reports continued throughout 2003 and 2004.
Source(s): “Kim Jong-il Sends Rolling Stock to Ch'ongjin Railway,” KCBS, May 3, 1999., “Ch'ongjin Railway Factory,” KCBS, June 12, 2000., “Working Class of Ch’ongjin Railway Plant Score Gains,” KCBS, August 9, 2000., “Railway Workers Transport Scrap Iron to Steel Mills,” KCBS, November 18, 2000., “Ch'ongjin Railway Factory,” KBCS, December 19, 2000., “Ch'ongjin Railway Factory,” KCBS, October 17, 2001; “Ch'ongjin Railway Factory,” KCBS, February 22, 2001; and “Exemplary Plants, Enterprises Awarded,” KCBS, February 15, 2001., “Functionaries of Ch'ongjin Railway Factory,” KCBS, August 5, 2004; “Functionaries and Workers of Ch'ongjin Railway Factory,” KCBS, April 20, 2003; and “Ch'ongjin Railway Factory Pushes Ahead with Repairing Trains,” KCBS, February 3, 2003.