Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader of North Korea, has taken to the skies in his private jet to observe a vast building project in Pyongyang, which he said “showcases the level of the Korean people’s civilisation and mental power of the army and people.”

The government-run North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that Mr Kim offered “field guidance” in the construction of a housing complex for scientists in the capital after enjoying a bird’s-eye view of it from his plane.

Photographs released by KCNA show Mr Kim in what appears to be the interior of a luxury plane poring over documents on a gleaming rosewood desk, giving orders to uniformed officials and staring thoughtfully out of the window.

From the plane the leader is reported to have said the “magnificent and spectacular” construction would “successfully face-lift Pyongyang…as a world-class city to be envied by the world”.

The visit is in line with Mr Kim’s promise to boost the country’s science and technology sector.

KCNA said the leader “expressed great satisfaction” that the apartment buildings “have sprung up like mushrooms after rain thanks to the devoted struggle of soldier builders”. Conscripted soldiers are enlisted to construct new buildings in North Korea.

The housing complex will feature a barber’s shop, beauty salon, bathhouse, shop and library. During Kim’s inspection he gave instructions on how to produce furniture and fixtures for apartments “at the highest level”, KCNA said.

Mr Kim ordered that the new development contain medical facilities and urban essentials – including barber’s shop, beauty salon, laundry, bath house, dress and shoes repairers, pharmacy, restaurant, shop and library. In September the KCNA reported that construction had begun, and that teachers at the Kim Chaek University of Technology would be entitled to live in the 500-household complex, which Mr Kim named Mirae – future – Scientists Street.

Photos of Kim’s plane appearing to circle the sky above Pyongyang were also released.

The KCNA news agency often releases strange or bizarre photo shoots of the North Korean leadership. Past photos have shown Kim being mobbed by female farm workers or beaming on a roller coaster at Rungna People’s Pleasure Ground.

North Korea watchers question the authenticity of some KCNA-released photos.

“He said that he came to have stronger confidence that the party’s plan for building a rich and powerful nation is sure to come true, thanks to such staunch and loyal soldiers,” the agency reported.

Mr Kim is said to have been deeply impressed, “while looking down from the plane and watching on the spot them waging a dynamic drive – despite the mid winter cold weather.”


Link to The Telegraph