North Korean Military Claims to Have Completed Construction of 1,800 Homes After Flood

David Lee, Oct. 6, 2015, 11:34 a.m.

North Korea said its military completed construction on 1,800 new homes in about a month, after devastating floods hit the city of Rason in August. Pyongyang's state-controlled broadcaster KCNA said 1,800 one-story houses were completed in two neighborhoods of the Sonbong district of Rason, South Korean news network YTN reported Tuesday. Another 2,700 homes were repaired in 10 days, according to North Korea.

"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," Pyongyang said, "With the new construction of 500 single-story and multi-story homes, new villages that harmonize with the local scenery have been formed in the city's Chonggyedong, Yuhyondong, Kwangokdong areas."

KCNA reported on Tuesday the new homeowners have begun to move into their houses after Kim Jong Un had presented housewarming gifts to the flood victims. Pyongyang also claimed the foundation work on 1,300 of the new homes was completed in just two days by the Korean People's Army, and the wall construction completed in 10 days, Yonhap reported.

Kim, the North Korean leader, had ordered the People's Army to mobilize and engage in relief efforts after heavy rains and floods wiped out homes and crops near Rason on Aug. 22-23. The result, according to North Korea, was an unprecedented achievement.

"The People's Army soldiers who were deployed in the recovery of homes managed to repair 2,700 houses in less than 10 days with enormous speed," KCNA said.

Pyongyang has said 40 people have died due to the floods, but South Korean news outlet Daily NK reported the number may be 10 times higher, according to sources in China.

"Although the state reported 40 were killed, after looking into the matter those figures are over 400," one source said.

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