A remodelling of the North Korean city of Samjiyon described by state media as an "ideal socialist village" and "sacred place of the revolution" has been completed and opened by Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s Supreme Leader, reports KCNA Watch, a New Zealand-based tracker of North Korean state news.
North Korean state media also said work on Samjiyon’s "township" involved construction and renovation of multi-storey apartment buildings for 4,000 families, and 380 municipal and industrial buildings.
It claimed 200 blocks of buildings were demolished in just over 10 days, and excavation was completed in "scores of days". Groundwork began in March 2018.
A statue of Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong-un’s father, is said to have been built at the head of a modern road axis which divides buildings into clusters, with zones dedicated to education, homes and local industry.
Kim Jong-un is described as a "designer, constructor and builder" of the project, who examined 8,800 designs for the development, and who visited the site three times, providing "painstaking" construction oversights.
The Guardian reports that construction on the project was delayed due to a scarcity of labourers and building materials, resulting in youth labour brigades, described as a form of slave labour.
The Global Slavery Index highlights North Korea as having the highest number of slave labourers in the world.
The North Korean state news release concludes by praising the "pure and clear loyalty of the people", and that Samjiyon’s completion "proves how noble and beautiful is the goal of building a powerful socialist country of the Korean people".
Another state press release says that celebrations including a firework display and dancing followed construction ending, and that "the masses hardly repressed their boundless reverence for Kim Jong-un".
Image: A statue of Kim Il-Sung at the Samjiyon Grand Monument (Ottovanrooy/Dreamstime)