Kim Jong Un and his officers stand near construction in progress in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea completed a project dedicated to "future scientists" that include apartment units. File photo by Yonhap
SEOUL, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- North Korea is promoting monumental projects in different parts of the country, including a residential complex in Pyongyang that cost the state $88.4 million, and land reclamation work completed on its western coast.
The buildings were erected on a street dedicated to "future scientists" and were completed under the guidance of Kim Jong Un, South Korean news network MBN reported on Friday. The high-rise buildings include new residences for scientists, a favored class of professionals that include developers of nuclear weapons.
North Korea's KCNA reported the construction of the new street and the adjacent high-rises cost Pyongyang $88.4 million, a significant sum of money in a country with a gross national income of $29.8 billion.
The lavish residences were praised on North Korean television. A North Korean woman identified as Oh Sun Ok said the street was a gift from Kim to "our scientists," a group she said the North Korean leadership cherished. Pyongyang said construction on the project began in September 2014 and was completed in one year and a month, under the pressure of a deadline that coincided with the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party.
The complex includes 2,500 apartment units, lavish by North Korean standards, and 150 leisure facilities, but South Korea press reported the rush to complete the buildings could have resulted in poor construction.
In another corner of North Korea, in South Hwanghae province, North Korea has completed a land reclamation project, Yonhap reported on Friday.
The reclamation was completed in six areas of Ryongmae Island to bolster agricultural production across new land that spans 3,676 acres.
"The map of our fatherland has changed," North Korea said.