Roof of Kim Jong-un's Jerry-Built Luxury Villa Caves In

The roof of a luxury villa in Wonsan belonging to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has collapsed, apparently due to faulty construction.

A comparison of a photo of the villa taken by South Korea's Arirang 3 satellite and an earlier image of the area on Google Earth shows a building in the compound with a collapsed roof.

One U.S. satellite image expert who analyzes photos of the luxury villas and government buildings used by the North Korean elite said the building appears to be an aquarium that was built in 2011.

A satellite photo (left) on Google Earth in 2012 shows a building with a complete roof in North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s villa compound in Wonsan, while in another taken by South Koreas Arirang 3 in March this year the roof has gone. A satellite photo (left) on Google Earth in 2012 shows a building with a complete roof in North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s villa compound in Wonsan, while in another taken by South Korea's Arirang 3 in March this year the roof has gone.

Kim had the aquarium built with materials imported from Italy and Germany and filled with US$3.3 million worth of marine life, including dolphins brought in from China.

According to North Korean defectors, military engineers are responsible for building Kim's villas. Experts say that Kim has engaged in massive construction drive since coming to power, and the push for speed is leading to faulty construction.

One source said, "Once Kim Jong-un sets a completion date, there is no arguing. This frantic push to meet deadlines is everywhere causing problems with quality."

englishnews@chosun.com / Apr. 04, 2014 12:37 KST