DPRK: The Changing Face of North Korea
Change seems to be coming quickly and all at once when it comes to the DPRK. Much can be attributed to Kim Jong Un, who has shifted the focus of the government from national security to economic development. In a declaration in April 2018, Kim proclaimed a ‘new strategic line’ for the Party, heralding an age of ‘socialist economic construction’. The greatest change has occurred in Pyongyang, where the country’s famous Mass Games were held in Sep 2018 after a break of 5 years. As foreign tourists and media entered the city, repeat visitors pointed out how the city itself has been given a facelift, with grey Brutalist buildings now painted bright colors, and various new public buildings having been built. New shopping malls, water parks, cultural centers and sports facilities have all changed life for the city’s residents, creating a nascent consumer culture fueled by the country’s growing donju (moneyed class). Mirae Scientists’ Street, a residential area for the country’s scientists, which houses a 53-story high-rise and 2500 apartments along with tennis courts, schools and shopping centres, was built in under a year. It is unclear what kind of impact this will have in the long run as it will take time for the rest of the country, particularly the rural north, to catch up.
Not many outsiders get a chance to visit North Korea. For those who make it inside North Korea's borders, photography is highly restricted and controlled.
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Music: “Tortured by Doubt” composed and played by the incredibly talented Othon @OthonPanMuzik
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