November 26, 2021 12:20
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is building new luxury houses near his residence in Pyongyang and summer retreats in the countryside, U.S. website NK News reported on Wednesday.
NK News analyzed satellite photos from Planet Labs, an American earth-imaging company. Four McMansions seem to be going up in the Workers Party compound in Pyongyang and another by a lake in Anju, South Pyongan Province.
Construction of the four villas in the party compound seems to have started in September last year. Opposite the construction site is the main building of the Central Committee, and one of the villas appears to be being built on a site where former leader Kim Jong-il's movie archive once stood.
NK News said the buildings are believed to be for Kim's "family members or others in his inner circle" since their compact size makes them only suitable for a small number of people.
The home being built next to Lake Yonphung in Anju is much bigger. Construction of a high-rise building started in mid-June, while boats were spotted crossing the lake.
"The construction -- and likely need to import sanctioned luxury goods to furnish the mansions -- comes as Kim repeated demands last week that the population work harder to overcome 'present hardships such as economic difficulties.'"
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