The future of Kim Il-sung University

UPDATE 1 (2017-5-10): Building No. 3 was completed as part of the “Ryomyong Street” project.  According to the Pyongyang Times:

New building added to Kim Il Sung University

Building No. 3 has been unveiled at Kim Il Sung University located in the area of Ryongnam Hill which has been renovated along with landmark Ryomyong Street.

With an area of over 70 000 square metres, the building has well-equipped and multi-functional lecture rooms and labs, a sports field and welfare facilities.

An opening event was held on May 9.

ORIGINAL POST (2013-1-15): The campus of Kim Il-sung University has been the site of high-profile renovations and additions: the construction of the indoor swimming pool and renovation of the main building which includes an electronic library. The school also features a peculiar construction site that has made little progress over the years:


Pictured Above (Google Earth): (L) Kim Il-sung University on 2006-11-11, (R) Kim Il-sung University on 2012-6-20

Given the prestigious position the university holds in the DPRK I have often wondered what the hold up is on this site. Is it a funding issue? Is it a capacity (demand) issue? I still don’t know.

My curiosity about the construction project was raised again when I stumbled on this tourist photo taken at the Three Revolutions Exhibition (image date 2011-9-19):

The image features a new facility called the Kim Il-sung University Building No. 3 and it bears a resemblance to the construction site shown on the satellite imagery above.

That was interesting, but not really worth blogging about. However, on 2012-10-1 North Korean television aired a show about Kim Jong-il’s guidance in helping the school grow. The footage included this scene:

The proposed “Building No. 3” in this image is not entirely consistent with the artist rendering at the Three Revolutionas Exhibition, but it is similar. It is consistent with the satellite imagery, however.  We can also see that in addition to building No. 3 there are long term plans to to build yet another office/classroom building and a large stadium. Pyongyang could use another large stadium, right?


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