North Korea’s High-end Apartments
A North Korean apartment complex reminiscent of South Korea’s top-tier apartment, ‘Hannam The Hill,’ has recently become a hot topic online.
A post titled “A recent properly built luxury residential area in North Korea” featured pictures of apartments taken by the Korean Central News Agency, a North Korean news agency. The exterior was similar to the luxury apartments in Hannam-dong, Seoul. The Potonggang River flowed in front of the complex, providing a ‘river view.’
Many North Korean apartments, despite their decent exteriors, often install fireplaces inside, but this was not the case for these apartments.
This apartment, completed in 2022, is a Potonggang Riverside terraced housing district, a luxury townhouse in downtown Pyongyang directed by Kim Jong-un, General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and Chairman of the State Affairs Commission. This is the ‘No. 5 Residence’ where former President Kim Il-sung lived before moving to the presidential palace in the 1970s, and where Chairman of National Defense Committee Kim Jung-il spent his childhood and youth.
Only the top 1% of North Korean society, including effort innovators in each field, contributors, scientists, and writers, are known to be eligible to live in this house.
A familiar figure to us is Ri Chun-hee, a news presenter for Korean Central TV. Ri Chun-hee, the main announcer of Korean Central TV, has reported major news in North Korea, including nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launches.
Netizens who saw the post reacted, “It looks very artificial,” “It seems like shoddy construction,” “Even though news about the widening gap between the rich and poor in our country comes out, the real polarization seems to be somewhere else,” “What kind of country’s leader comes to visit just because one apartment was built,” “They’re bragging about a house that’s not even as good as a model house for a newly built apartment in our country.”
Meanwhile, North Korea has severe economic inequality between major cities like Pyongyang, where the privileged class lives, and the provinces.
North Korea experiences a chronic food shortage every year, and it is reported that 70~80% of the provincial residents do not receive proper distribution.