Insight: Kim Jong Un, North Korea's master builder




 
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November 24th, 2013  
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Topic: Insight: Kim Jong Un, North Korea's master builder


By Jack Kim and James Pearson SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea's Kim Jong Un has rattled the United States with his nuclear threats and bemused the world with his penchant for funfairs, Disney and Dennis Rodman. Partly out of the public eye, however, the young leader has presided over a construction boom since he took office two years ago with the aid of funds from China, the North's major backer, and Russia, a former Cold War ally. Based on satellite imagery, first-hand accounts and photographs obtained from people who travel regularly to North Korea, the building activity goes far beyond the ski resort, pleasure parks and apartment blocks reported by state media. A stronger focus on the economy is a major change in policy for the third Kim to rule North Korea, although tensions remain high on the Korean peninsula and Pyongyang has been subject to withering criticism this year as part of a U.N. inquiry into human rights abuses.




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