North Korea has released HD footage of its completed Jangchon cooperative farm near Pyongyang, showcasing new facilities including distance learning resources, a hair salon, dentist and parks.
The upgraded farm has been the focus of numerous articles in North Korean media, however the new footage features people living and working in the complex.
The broadcast claims over thirty farmers are attending classes at a Pyongyang university via computer facilities at the farm.
“In the near future, as the farmers become college students, expect that they could be astronomers and experts of vegetables,” the video’s narrator says.
Many of the photos shown so far by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and in the Pictorial Korea monthly magazine indicated many of the buildings come equipped with solar panels. However during an interview with one of the farm’s residents, a solar water heater is also shown.
The technology appears connected to a thermostat in the house and can provide hot running water throughout the year.
The relatively slick video also shows farming facilities integrated with carbon dioxide and temperature sensors.
Speaking to NK News in August, Dr Andrei Lankov at Kookmin University said the highly developed farms were more likely to give visiting foreigners the idea that North Korean agriculture is prospering.
“It is an old Soviet approach, from the Stalin era: to choose one or two or three facilities as ‘models,’ to invest heavily into such models, and then to show these models to the local and foreign visitors … Of course, it was fantasyland,” Lankov said.
The Jangchon farm is not the only large refurbishment scale project nearing completion. The Pyongyang Central Zoo has reportedly reopened to North Korean visitors, though not all the construction is finished.
“Technically it is open … However, the new exhibit was meant to open for Party Foundation Day but this was announced like a year ago by some of my contacts. It’s no surprise it didn’t make the date because from my early communication with them they weren’t expecting the upgrades to be this huge. It’s quite impressive,” a source who wished to remain anonymous said.
Further pictures of the upgrades obtained by NK News also show the nearly completed entrance to the zoo, which is in the shape of a massive tiger’s head.
Another large five story construction also appears to be nearly finished, though its function is currently unclear. An earlier NK News report found that a 65 meter turtle building and a wing shaped aviary were also part of the new upgrades.
Additional reporting by Hyunbi Park
Featured image: elufatv
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