Mansudae Overseas Development Group Projects

According to the Daily NK:

North Korea has earned more than $160 million in the last ten years thanks to the construction of sculptures and other edifices in countries across Africa.

A Daily NK source in China revealed on the 18th, “Since 2000, North Korea has been earning colossal quantities of dollars through contracts for the Mansudae Overseas Project Group of Companies under the Mansudae Art Institute to construct sculptures.”

Mansudae Art Institute is an organization primarily dedicated to the idolization of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il through public works, one whose construction of edifices such as the Juche Tower and Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang has added to the status of the country.

It has also been building revolutionary monuments in African countries such as Ethiopia since the 1970s in order to maintain cordial relations with socialist states, but in the early 2000s started doing work in African countries to earn foreign currency as well.

According to the source, North Korea has earned $66.03 million from Namibia alone thanks to the construction of the Presidential Palace ($49 million); the Cemetery of National Heroes ($5.23 million); a military museum ($1.8 million); and Independence Hall ($10 million).

It has also earned almost $55 million from Angola via the António Agostinho Neto culture center ($40 million); Cabinda Park ($13 million); and the Peace Monument ($1.5 million).

Additionally, the North has constructed a basketball stadium ($14.4 million) and an athlete academic center ($4.8 million) in the Congo, earning almost $20 million dollars in total.

Thanks to the Monument to the African Renaissance in Senegal, the North has made another $12 million dollars.

There are around 19.8㎢ set aside for a vacation spot for the president of Equatorial Guinea, which is supposed to earn Mansudae around $800,000, not to mention a government office building ($1.5 million), Luba Stadium ($6.74 million) and conference halls ($3.5 million).

The source also reported, “The money earned from these construction projects is managed by the No. 39 Department. Some of these dollars are used for domestic governance, while the rest go to secret accounts in Switzerland or Macau to become Kim Jong Il’s secret funds.”

Here are the images from the story including a table of financial data (which I would take with a grain of salt):

dnk-mansudae-1.jpg dnk-mansudae-2.jpg dnk-mansudae-3.jpg dnk-mansudae-4.jpg dnk-mansudae-5.jpg dnk-mansudae-6.jpg dnk-mansudae-7.jpg

Additional Information:

1. I blogged here about the Derg Monument in Ethiopia.

2. I have located some of the Mansudae Overseas projects mentioned in this story (as well as numerous other places not menioned in this story: Egypt and Syria, Zimbabwe, DR Congo). However, here are GeoEye satellite images of some of the Namibia and Angola projects mentioned above courtesy of Google Earth:  

Namibia National Heroes Acre (22°39’46.02″S,  17° 4’41.06″E):


Namibia State House (22°35’28.83″S,  17° 6’2.76″E)


Cultural Center of António Agostinho Neto (Mausoleum) (8°49’24.73″S,  13°13’8.52″E)




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