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North Korea state media mocks South's 'tragic' housing market

North Korea’s propaganda addressed South Korean home prices Friday. File Photo by Yonhap/EPA-EFE
North Korea’s propaganda addressed South Korean home prices Friday. File Photo by Yonhap/EPA-EFE

July 23 (UPI) -- North Korea blasted South Korea's rising home prices Friday in a statement that claimed the Kim Jong Un regime's "socialist system" was superior to the South's capitalist economy.

Pyongyang propaganda service DPRK Today said that home ownership is a "lifelong dream" for the people of South Korea and other capitalist countries.

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In North Korea, it is "national policy to give out new houses free of charge to working people," DPRK Today said. "Our people do not even know how much a home costs."

North Korea classifies all residential real estate as state property. Last year, Korea Central Television showed authorities granting flood victims permits to live in homes built by the state.

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DPRK Today said that "teachers, scientists and workers" are able to live in new construction in Pyongyang, including in the "modern living quarters of Ryomyong Avenue."

But in "South Korea, there are a lot of people who live in houses with no address, rent a home under a landlord or live on land without a permit," North Korean media said.

"Birds have nests and squirrels their burrows. How can one express the sorrow of knowing that people are moving from one rented-out room to another, without a suitable place for themselves," DPRK Today said.

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North Korea denies homes are under private ownership, but according to South Korean network MBN in February, North Korean buyers and sellers trade "their right of residence" to housing units.

North Korea does not approve of housing trades, but the practice could be popular and difficult to shut down, according to MBN.

South Korea's home prices are rising despite government pledges to build more apartment towers in high-demand areas like Seoul.

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Seoul Economic Daily reported Thursday real estate developers are struggling to strike a deal with resident-led cooperatives in Seoul neighborhoods like Yongsan, further delaying new construction.

Home prices have risen as much as 58% during President Moon Jae-in's term.

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