There’s trouble in paradise. It is about North Korea’s Ryomyong New Town, Kim Jong-un’s pride and joy. The new town began construction in April 2016 and was finished in one year on April 13, 2017 in time for Kim Il-sung’s 105th birthday. According to Liberty Korea Post correspondents in Pyongyang, the fancy apartments are experiencing problems, and “Ryomyong Ave buildings have undergone foundation reinforcement project beginning last fall, in secrecy.”
Ryomyong New Town starts from Yonghung intersection in Moranbong-guyok to Kumsusan Palace in Daesong-guyok. The area is about 1,720,000 square meters, consisting of a 70-story luxury apartment and 44 high-rise apartment buildings, 4804 residential units altogether.
North Korea has promoted the project as a “fierce showdown with the American imperialists and their followers” and attributed the swift completion to the new concrete curing agent developed according to juche science. The new chemical compound was supposed to cure the concrete in freezing weather, to 15 degrees-C below zero. However, those buildings which had used the new curing agent are experiencing strange problems with foundation and columns. The foundations are sinking, and the columns are slumping.
Scientists have concluded that the problems came from the usage of the new curing agent, as well as poor foundation work. The authorities have brought in construction experts from China, Baikdusan Construction Research Center, and Pyongyang Construction University to carry out the reinforcement project.
The authorities have also brought in military police and personnel from the guard command unit to keep out outside visitors. The residents of the Ryomyong New Town have not been made aware of the reinforcement project going on in the basement. But, those who are aware of the problem have evacuated from the units and have moved in with their relatives, concerned that there are many risks in the Ryomyong area.