North Korea says it built 1,800 homes in the space of 30 days in the flood hit Rason area, according to DPRK state media on Tuesday.
South Korea’s YTN news station also said a further 2700 homes had also been repaired.
“In just the short period of one month, in the Baekhakdong area of Sonbong district, 1,300 single-story homes line a street to create a fully formed neighborhood,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a translation from UPI.
A further 500 multi-story homes were also reportedly constructed in the Chonggyedong, Yuhyondong, Kwangokdong areas.
The area was hit by severe floods which began on August 22. Figures from the DPRK Red Cross Society released in September said 89 people were killed in the flood, with a further 10 missing and 22,656 people affected.
“Satellite imagery reveals significant damage to transportation infrastructure, industrial and agricultural facilities, and housing units in the Rason SEZ,” Curtis Melvin, a researcher at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins SAIS told NK News.
North Korean media released footage of the construction site on September 22. A large-scale construction project appeared underway, with many single story structures already in place.
The Korean Central Television Broadcast (KCTV) showed the North Korean military were involved in the construction work.
The most recent pictures however show tree lined avenues between houses complete with green lawns. The KCNA article also claims that flood victims have already begun moving in to the homes, which also have finished interiors.
“The North Koreans have responded by mobilizing military and other shock brigades to reconstruct these damaged sites. Construction work can be seen in the North Korean media and on satellite imagery,” Melvin said.
When contacted by NK News in September, members or the Red Cross based in Beijing said they weren’t aware of the large scale construction projects. The humanitarian aid group had however doubled allocated funds to $400,000 to aid with the recovery work.
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Featured Image: Rason North Korea by Ray Cunningham on 2013-06-22 18:52:44