June 16 (UPI) -- North Korea claimed Sunday "dozens of buildings" in Samjiyon County have been completed, even as the country faces the heaviest sanctions in its history.
Korean Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun stated the shock brigade troops of Division 216 had finished work on more than ten high-rise buildings and residences at the end of May. The group recently finished work on "dozens" of structures since that time, North Korea media said.
"There is a guarantee work will be finished before the deadline for second-phase construction for Samjiyon county.
"This is a high achievement that cannot compared to the construction speed of the previous year," the Rodong said.
Construction of the new buildings were part of orders from Kim Jong Un, who told officials last August to build a number of high-rise and low-rise structures.
The North Korean leader has also said Samjiyon should be transformed into a "mountain culture city" that is also an example of a "socialist utopia." Samjiyon and North Korea's Wonsan-Kalma tourist zone have been prioritized in Kim's plan to rebuild North Korea.
His most recent visit according to state media took place on April 4.
Other divisions involved in construction at Samjiyon include the 618 Construction Brigade and the Paektusan Hero Youth Shock Brigade, according to the party paper.
Defectors in South Korea have said the regime mobilizes soldiers and civilians on national construction projects. The policy has been criticized for possible human rights violations.
Economic developments in North Korea are being promoted by the regime as fishermen from the North continue to be found and rescued in South Korean waters.
Korea Herald reported Sunday South Korea discovered a second North Korean fishing boat this week, drifting more than 90 miles south of the Northern Limit Line, on Saturday.
The boat's crew has yet to express a desire to return, according to the report.