In North Korea, they built shopping malls, parks, and sports centers

Han Kim, Aug. 30, 2017, 9:36 a.m.

A recent expansion of market economy in North Korea has helped the reclusive country build shopping malls, parks and sports centers in big cities where the country's rich spend their spare time, a report said Wednesday.

Since 2011 when Kim Jong-un took the helm of North Korea after his father's death, there has been a boom in the construction of parks, sports and cultural centers and shopping malls, as well as apartments and roads, in the capital city of Pyongyang, according to the monthly report published by the state-run Korea Development Institute (KDI). The report is based on statements of 10 North Korean defectors who had lived in Pyongyang and other borderline cities.

Haedanghwa center is a newly built six-story multi-purpose complex in Pyongyang, with luxury restaurants, movie theaters, coffee shops, fitness centers and aesthetic clinics. It receives U.S. dollar.

"Most of these upper-class facilities are clustered in Pyongyang and made the capital outclass other North Korean cities," said the KDI report. "With the spread of the market economy, some people accumulated wealth and can afford to enjoy such facilities."

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