North Korea touts construction 'miracle': 70-story building in 74 days

A source told Radio Free Asia the workers were provided drugs to enhance their performance

Elizabeth Shim
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un standing before Ryomyong Street. Building construction along the boulevard was hailed a miracle on Wednesday. File Photo by Rodong Sinmun
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un standing before Ryomyong Street. Building construction along the boulevard was hailed a "miracle" on Wednesday. File Photo by Rodong Sinmun

SEOUL, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- North Korea media said Wednesday a 70-story building along a boulevard devoted to scientists was constructed in 74 days, calling the effort a "miracle."

In reference to the highly touted project, North Korean online news service Maeari stated construction taking place on "Ryomyong Street" is a "miracle" that's taking place despite "heavy sanctions."


Ryomyong is a boulevard of high-rise buildings in Pyongyang that is dedicated to "future scientists," which includes North Koreans who made contributions to the country's nuclear weapons program.

"A dazzling miracle was accomplished," the media statement read. "Like [our] powerful missiles, the [street] is a source of strength and pride, another reason why the heads of our enemies – who try to block the progress of [North Korea] while running around with bloodshot eyes – will be rained down with showers of fire as punishment."

RELATED Shinzo Abe condemns North Korea missile launch

The speed at which construction took place, however, may be taking a toll on the working population

Radio Free Asia reported graffiti was found at the site, some of it mocking the "Pyongyang speed" ethos of hard work with scribbles that read "drug speed."

The graffiti is a criticism of the regime's provision of drugs to workers at construction sites, which are being distributed to enhance their performance, a source told RFA.

RELATED North Korea launched ballistic missile, Seoul's joint chiefs say

The Maeari statement appeared to be challenging the increasingly conflicting views between the people and the regime and may have been issued to emphasize loyalty.

"When [North Korean] residents see the construction project they are filled with boundless pride and confidence, while feeling a soaring sense of strength and courage," the media statement read.

Maeari also stated the speed of development would be a source of wonder, adding Ryomyong was brought to realization in less than a year.

RELATED Death threat sent to South Korea school for North Korean defectors

"The day Ryomyong emerges magnificently all will marvel at the great pace of development" on the Korean peninsula.

"That is our people response to our enemies' 'high-level sanctions,'" the North Korean statement read.

Latest Headlines