‘Dear leader’ Kim Jong-il wants to show the world “the greatness and power of North Korea’. However, the cost is prohibitive and impossible to achieve in such a short period.
“Any country would be stretched to hit that accommodation target in two or three years,” ex UK Ambassador Peter Hughes ambassador said over the summer. “I think they have built maybe 10 per cent of that,” he added.
Kim Jong-un, Kin Jong-il’s third son, is in charge of the project. However, the work has been proceeding at a slow pace, and students have conscripted for the project.
Some sources indicate that they are also dying by the dozens. “The speed with which they want to build the flats and poor safety measures on worksites are the cause of more and more workplace fatalities.”
At the same time, there is concern over the buildings’ safety. “Some buildings were built in two months. People are afraid of living there, concerned that they might collapse for any reason, earth tremors or explosions."