The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea regards promoting the people’s wellbeing as the supreme principle in its activities. The country has paid close concern to solving the housing problem, regarding it as an important undertaking to provide the people with cultured and stable living conditions.
During the Korean war (1950-1953), fiercest of wars after the Second World War, a master plan for rebuilding Pyongyang, the capital city, was worked out. In the aftermath of the war, the country was reduced to ashes, but it channelled all its efforts to house building to stabilize the people’s life. The builders created the Pyongyang Speed, building one flat of a multi-storeyed apartment block in a matter of 14 minutes. By the early 1960s the housing problem was solved in the main in this country.
Afterwards, such modern streets as Chollima, Ragwon, Pipha and Munsu were built in Pyongyang, and a large number of houses were constructed in every part of the country, ranging from provincial seats like Nampho, Chongjin, Hamhung and Wonsan to rural and fishermen’s villages and mountainous areas.
Construction of Changgwang Street in the 1980s was an occasion that heralded a revolution in the construction of houses; the high-rise apartment buildings for thousands of households and the many cultural and welfare facilities on the street were furnished with all the necessary furniture and equipment.
This was followed by construction of several streets in Pyongyang, including Kwangbok and Thongil, and over one million houses were built across the country. Between 1995 and 2004 the newly-built houses numbered over 458 000, including over 1 600 villages in the rural areas.
The houses built long ago are repaired or renovated on a regular basis as suited to the modern aesthetic feelings and people’s demands.
Whenever families have to be evacuated for a state construction project, the state ensures that their houses are built elsewhere first; to take a typical example, when a hydropower station had to be built in a northern part, for the people living in the area to be submerged, it built houses better than the previous ones.
In late August 2016 rain fell in torrents in a northern part of the country, industrial establishments were destroyed, crop land was inundated and the local people were left homeless. The state directed its all human, material and technical resources to the rehabilitation project, thus building over 11 900 houses in less than two months before the winter rolled in.
These figures and facts are remarkable for this country, small in the size of territory and the number of population.
In fact, the country builds houses every year, and pushes ahead with the housing projects without deviation even when the situation demands change of the plan of nonproductive construction.
Now, house construction is being undertaken across the country, contributing to the improvement of the people’s living standards.
Those built in Pyongyang over the past seven to eight years have not only met the growing cultural demands of the people but transformed the appearance of the capital city; sky-kissing apartment houses in Changjon Street, twin apartment houses for lecturers at Kim Il Sung University at Ryonghung Crossroads, apartment houses for lecturers at Kim Chaek University of Technology in the shape of sailing boats on the bank of the picturesque Taedong River, Mirae Scientists Street, Ryomyong Street–these were all supplied free of charge to the Pyongyang citizens, particularly to teachers, scientists and researchers.
Unha Scientists Street and the Wisong Scientists Dwelling District in suburbia of the capital city were built for the scientists, researchers and technicians.
It is not fortuitous that the world media report that the DPRK is building a modern street every year.
Building houses at state expense and allotting them to the people free of charge–this fact mirrors the true feature of socialist Korea, a country for the people.