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N. Korea builds apartments on site for late founder's house

This photo, released by the Korean Central News Agency, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) giving an order to officials of the North's Workers' Party while looking at a rendering of a residential district for terraced apartments to be built on the banks of the Pothong River in Pyongyang during an inspection of the construction site on March 31, 2021. It was his second inspection of the site following one about a week ago. (Korean Central News Agency)
This photo, released by the Korean Central News Agency, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) giving an order to officials of the North's Workers' Party while looking at a rendering of a residential district for terraced apartments to be built on the banks of the Pothong River in Pyongyang during an inspection of the construction site on March 31, 2021. It was his second inspection of the site following one about a week ago. (Korean Central News Agency)
North Korea's official newspaper said Tuesday that the site for riverside apartments now under construction in Pyongyang is where a special residence was once located for late state founder Kim Il-sung.

In March, North Korea unveiled a plan to build around 800 "terraced apartments" along the Pothong River running through Pyongyang as "gifts" to "working people, including labor innovators and persons of distinguished services in all sectors, scientists, educators and writers."

State media had not provided details on the site, but speculation had swirled that the area was where a special residence was located until the 1970s for Kim Il-sung, late state founder and grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-un.

On Tuesday, the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Workers' Party, said that the riverside houses are being built on the site for the house "that our leader used."

The house apparently refers to a residence that Kim Il-sung was believed to have used from the 1950s to the 1970s. The area is considered in the North most propitious and sacred.

The site had been left vacant since it was destroyed in 2009, though houses were built in its surrounding area.

Kim visited the apartment construction site twice in just a week in March. His first trip drew special attention as he went there without supervising a missile test conducted the same day.

Experts say that Kim's trips to the site appear intended to signal his focus on the lives of the people under his "people-first" policy.

At a rare party congress in January, Kim admitted to the failure of his previous economic plans and unveiled a new five-year development scheme, including the construction of around 50,000 apartments in Pyongyang by 2025. (Yonhap)



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