Kim Jong Un marvels at new Pyongyang airport terminal

Months after purging an official responsible for the original construction, Kim said he was satisfied with the renovations and the polished look of the new terminal.
By Elizabeth Shim  |  June 25, 2015 at 3:43 AM
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SEOUL, June 25 (UPI) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un toured the completed second terminal of Pyongyang's Sunan Airport months after requesting an overhaul to the complex that would reflect North Korean ideology.

Kim boarded his personal jet with his wife, Ri Sol Ju, and younger sister Kim Yo Jong to take an aerial survey of the airport grounds, Yonhap reported Thursday. This is the second time Ri has appeared in public since April, when she appeared at a football game alongside her husband.

Kim said he was greatly satisfied with the polished new terminal and said the modern aesthetic of its design reflected the qualities of the Korean people and North Korea's official state ideology of self-reliance, or "juche."

North Korea's state newspaper said the airport is a magnificent memorial to Pyongyang's "military-first" era that prioritizes the allocation of national resources to the army. Rodong Sinmun also dedicated three out of six pages to Kim's tour of the airport, and published 37 photographs, South Korean newspaper Asia Business reported.

Images showed the terminal included a duty-free store, a restaurant featuring global cuisine and an apparel retailer with a sophisticated look.

Hwang Pyong So, Pyongyang's No. 2 man, Kim Yang Gon of the Workers' Party and Ri Byong Chol, North Korea's air force chief accompanied Kim and his relatives on their tour of the airport terminal.

Kim, who previously complained about the building in November and subsequently purged official Ma Won Chun to a rural location for his supervision of the original construction, had nothing but praise for the airport on this most recent visit.

Kim said the addition of an international restaurant, airport highway and subterranean parking garage in the last two months met his standards and that the new facilities were "absolute perfection."

Yonhap reported the terminal is expected to receive visitors who are en route to tour North Korea's Mount Paektu.

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