You can always count on Kim Jong Un to massively overreact to a bad building job.
The leader of North Korea has been up to his old tricks again – this time executing the chief architect involved with the nation’s new airport, because he didn’t like the design.
Kim and his propaganda machine have spent the last few days showing off the brand new airport in Pyongyang, but they’ve failed to mention that the supreme leader had the main designer killed. Slipped their minds probably.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency published a 30-photo slide show last week of Kim Jong Un and his wife touring one of the international terminals in Pyongyang’s airport.
Sadly, those photos didn’t include Ma Won Chun, who was North Korea’s director of the Designing Department of the National Defence Commission until he vanished last year.
Chun was the chief architect behind North Korea’s biggest government projects when he, along with five other high-level officials, were reportedly killed during one of Kim’s purges.
According to the Diplomat, Ma was executed in November 2014 “for corrupt practices and failure to follow orders”.
His death coincided with a report explaining that airport renovations were being suspended because of Kim’s dissatisfaction with the design.
According to NKNews’ transcript of a state media report, Kim said:
Defects were manifested in the last phase of the construction of the Terminal 2 because the designers failed to bear in mind the party’s idea of architectural beauty that is the life and soul and core in architecture to preserve the character and national identity.
It is necessary to finish the construction of the terminal to be an icon of (North) Korea, the face of the country and the gateway to Pyongyang.
The airport is the secretive nation’s latest attempt to appeal to tourists and holiday-makers. Apparently it features luxury amenities including a jewellery store, coffee bar, a pharmacy and a chocolate fountain.
The new airport is scheduled to open this week and it’s probably best not to ask where the money to build such an extravagant project came from.