North Korea unveils town hailed as "epitome of civilisation"

  04 December 2019    Read: 1059
North Korea unveils town hailed as "epitome of civilisation"

North Korea has officially opened a new town its media is calling the "epitome of modern civilisation", reports citing BBC.

Leader Kim Jong-un cut the red ribbon at Samjiyon - hailed as one of the country's most important construction projects.

State media KCNA said the town - which is able to accommodate 4,000 families - boasts new apartments, a ski slope, and a stadium amongst other facilities.

However, forced labour is said to have gone into the construction of Samjiyon.

And the town - even if it lives up to state media billing - will be an outlier in North Korea, where the majority of people live in poor conditions.

According to non-governmental organisation the National Committee on North Korea, many "suffer from shortages of food, fuel, electricity, running water and other necessities".

What does the town look like?

According to Colin Zwirko, a correspondent at specialist site NK News, the town is a "model" of sorts.

"As it appears now, it [has] nice clean facades and unique, ornately designed buildings that would not resemble really any other town in North Korea," he told the BBC.

"Someone roaming around Samjiyon as a tourist would not stumble into less well-kept areas away from the main road, as is the case in Pyongyang and other cities."

Mr Zwirko added that the town is "quite small and walkable", measuring around 2-3km in either direction.

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