North Koreans in Sinuiju, a border city, claim that they were forced to donate metal to a "loyalty fund" for statues of two of North Korea's deceased leaders.
The statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il were difficult to finance, since North Korea doesn't have an abundant metal supply. Sinuiju residents told Seoul's DailyNK that many residents were forced to purchase their portions of metal from the open market, with traders using Chinese metal supplies.
"They collected copper from everyone in Sinuiju," an anonymous source told DailyNK. "People had no idea what it was all going to be for, but after the unveiling ceremony, they realized what had been going on."
North Korea's official news agency KCNA, meanwhile, called the statues' unveiling "another significant event in eternally glorifying the revolutionary careers and exploits" of its leaders.