10,000 apartments under construction in Pyongyang

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)
NK Brief No. 09-11-10-1

North Korea is pouring all efforts into the construction of 10,000 family homes in Pyongyang by 2012. Whether this construction plan can be completed within the next three years will weigh on the success or failure of the regime’s goal of establishing a ‘Strong and Prosperous Nation.’

An article run on November 4 in the Chosun Sinbo, a newspaper of the Jochongryeon, the pro-Pyongyang Korean residents’ association in Japan, stated, “Currently, the construction of 10,000 family dwellings is underway in Pyongyang, and the efforts poured into this over the next 3 years will show the strength of the country.” It was also reported that “North Korean authorities are devising policies to concentrate all efforts into the construction area in order to see this through.”

The article also confirmed that the apartment construction project was part of the “effort to open the door to a ‘Strong and Prosperous Nation’,” and that completion of the project “would mean the complete solution of the people’s housing problems in Pyongyang.”

The newspaper claimed that the project is the largest project ever undertaken by the North. In the 1980s and 1990s, 5,000-unit apartments were built along Kwangbok Street and Unification Street over 4 to 5 years, but the current project is twice as large. The aim is to complete the project in 3 years. Each unit is said to be 100 square meters.

North Korean authorities are reportedly pledging that the ‘Strong and Prosperous Nation’ will not just be reflected through economic statistics or increased production, but that they are putting all efforts into increasing the standard of living for the people.

In order to meet the expected increase in demand for electricity, a hydroelectric power plant is being built in Huicheon, Chagang Province, and is expected to be complete by 2012.

It is expected that it will be difficult for the North to complete 10,000 apartments in the next 3 years, and so authorities are also conducting campaigns to repair and upgrade old production lines in factories and companies in order to meet the demand for materials. As well, Preparations are also underway to create a system of factories and businesses to produce needed materials within Pyongyang. The construction project has meant the removal of some military barracks in the area, causing some conflicts between soldiers and civilians.


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