SEOUL, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- North Korea built a disability-accessible toilet at its new airport terminal, but opinion remains divided over whether the development is an indication Pyongyang is changing its attitude toward the disabled, or whether the regime is engaging in "toilet" propaganda.
The latrine was first made public after an unidentified Western tourist shared a photograph of the facility, Radio Free Asia reported. The visitor wrote that inside the dazzling new terminal a sign indicating "Toilet" was accompanied by the universal symbol for disabled accessibility.
The tourist said the toilet was being meticulously tended to by cleaning staff, including one worker bending down to clean the facility, while another three were on standby, possibly waiting to assist guests.
Katharina Zellweger, a Swiss aid manager in Pyongyang, had previously said changes are unfolding in the area of disability support in North Korea, although developments are still taking place at a relatively slow pace.
In April 2009, North Korea reportedly amended its Constitution to include new clauses on human rights protection, and in March Pyongyang sent its first troupe of disabled performers for a tour of France and Britain.
North Korea also signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and sent a team to the 2012 London Paralympic Games, South Korean news network YTN reported.
Critics claimed, however, that more evidence is needed that North Korea is fully engaged in protecting the rights of the disabled, and that Pyongyang is not trying to distract visitors from its more serious human rights violations.
The U.N. special rapporteur on North Korea had said in October people with disabilities in the country are the most affected by the regime's violations.