Kim Jong Un Opens Up Brand New City Samjiyon

John Kim, Dec. 4, 2019, 10:50 a.m.


North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has opened a shiny brand-new city in Samjiyon at the foot of Mt. Baekdu, to which his family claims to trace its heritage. Kim cut a ribbon in the new city, which is bisected by a vast straight avenue lined by apartment buildings in a faux alpine style and a couple of towering futuristic structures, all lit up like Christmas trees and dwarfing a crowd of people who milled around the central intersection. 

Also on hand at the ceremony were senior officials like Choe Ryong-hae, the head of North Korea's rubberstamp Supreme People's Assembly, according to the official [North] Korean Central News Agency on Monday. There was also a dance party and a ceremonial firing of guns, while other pictures showed happy skiers on the slopes above the town.

The mega project has already eaten up massive resources and seen soldiers and young people press-ganged into building work to finish on schedule. The regime plans to complete it by Oct. 10, 2020, the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Workers Party.

Kim Jong-un has visited the socialist utopia-in-the-making nine times since he took power, three times this year alone, but Monday was the first time it has been revealed in all its glory. North Korean officials around the same time said it is now up to the U.S. what "Christmas gift" to choose ahead of the year-end deadline the North has set for restarting nuclear talks.

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