UPDATE 3 (2014-4-4): Here is the Red Cross report on the Ryongchon explosion (PDF).
UPDATE 2 (2004-4-22): Apparently these buildings have not aged well.
UPDATE 1 (2009-11-6) : This post was picked up by Yonhap:
N. Korea’s Ryongchon blast site reborn with Soviet-era complexes
ORIGINAL POST (2009-10-28): In 2004 much of the town of Ryongchon was tragically destroyed in a large explosion. Here is the Wikipedia page on the disaster if you would like a quick reference.
I compiled a couple of images to construct this “before” picture of Ryongchon:
Notice that the center of town is composed largely of traditional houses.
Here is the first “after” image (which is the default image on Google Earth):
As you can see a large number of traditional houses were destroyed as well as a school.
Below I have compiled more recent images to show how the city was reconstructed. Gone are the traditional homes. They have been replaced by typical Soviet-style apartment blocks: