October 23, 2020

New cookie-cutter homes show North Korea’s ‘socialist fairyland’ aesthetic

A recent propaganda campaign on a newly-built model village offers a unique glimpse into North Korean urban planning

Most people never get a chance to visit North Korea, let alone see the inside of a North Korean house. But in recent weeks, state media has given a lot of airtime to images of a quaint, “socialist fairyland” housing project in Kangbuk-ri —  an effort to show off the government’s flood recovery efforts after thousands of homes were destroyed this summer.

In all truth, the pastel, cookie-cutter buildings were under construction well before the country was hit with three successive typhoons, meaning that they weren’t really built to deal with this season’s devastating storms.