Why Are North Koreans Avoiding the New Housing Development Near Future Scientist Street

David Lee, Jan. 29, 2016, 7:53 a.m.

According to Daily NK, an online journal specializing in North Korea, citizens of Pyongyang are making efforts to avoid moving into new apartments built near the city’s Future Scientist Street. The apartments have been said to be ‘the proudest creations of the Kim Jong-un era’.

A source from Pyongnam Province revealed that the supply of electricity and heating is poor at the new apartment complex, and the authorities ordered residents to avoid using the elevators below the 10th floor.

He continued that the building is literally like the inside of a refrigerator, as it lacks heating and hot water, and some spaces in the building are frozen. “Some are concerned that people might freeze to death due to the record breaking cold weather this year,” the source revealed.

With word spreading, families who are being assigned apartments in the new building are trying to avoid moving in or postponing their moving dates to the spring. Those assigned apartments above the 10th story are particularly hesitant to move in, as they fear the building is poorly constructed.

Kim Jong-un ordered in February 2015 that the first stage of construction be completed by April 15, the birthday of Kim Il-sung, and the second stage by October 10, the 70thanniversary of the Labor party.

The construction started six months before Kim Jong-un visited in February, and 85 percent of the construction was in progress by the time he visited. At the opening ceremony of the new complex, Prime Minister Park Bong-ju said that it was a ‘proud creation of the Kim Jong-un era’.

According to North Korean media, the Future Scientist Street is located in the heart of Pyongyang. Residential buildings with thousands of households, 150 commercial facilities, department stores, day care centers, schools, research centers and parks are located in the area.

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