SEOUL, May 29 (UPI) -- North Koreans privileged enough to move into a gleaming 46-story apartment in Pyongyang are hesitant to live in the buildings because of water and power shortages.
South Korea-based news outlet Daily NK reported Friday that special housing reserved for faculty at North Korea's Kim Chaek University of Technology does not receive sufficient electricity to operate the elevator on a regular basis.
Instead, the ride is available at just three intervals during the day and does not travel to the top floors. Sources said residents have only occupied the bottom 20 floors and vacant units are signs of the inconvenience.
Water, too, is in short supply. According to Daily NK sources, the sporadic water in the building forces residents to bring heavy volumes of water from the outside.
South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered construction on the apartments begin in August 2013, and the flashy towers quickly became Kim's pet project.
When construction was in progress, Kim would inspect the site several times and attended the building dedication ceremony last October.
At the time of the dedication, North Korea's state-controlled media touted the buildings as "The fruit of the Supreme Leader's warm love."
But critical voices are on the rise, sources said, because the building does not meet the conditions of reality. It was an "overblown project from the start," said another source inside North Korea.
Authorities have ordered assigned residents to move to the building, but many are stepping back due to the lack of amenities and utilities.
The apartment's shortcoming had some North Koreans wondering whether Kim Jong Un even has a long-term plan, using the high-profile construction to mask fundamental problems plaguing the construction.
Sources said some residents would not live in the building even if free housing was provided.
Kim Chaek University of Technology is North Korea's source of nuclear engineers and researchers.