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North Korea Today (1)
in the Lens of Chinese Journalists:
North Korean Cities

4 June 2010

North Korean capital Pyongyang with 3 million populations

The following shots of today's North Korea were taken by Chinese journalists, who recently visited North Korea with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, which has generated wide interest and heated debates among the viewers after posted online


This is the top grand hotel in Pyongyang which did take quite a while to complete due to, probably, short of fund. But the project eventually accomplished and the building has become a landmark of the city.


This is a residential area in Pyongyang, which is very much like what you could see in Beijing a couple of decades ago. The buildings erected along the major streets are mainly residential blocks with shops located within the residential areas. So far, North Koreans resist the idea of using advertisements to promote commercial activities or establishing large commercial centres.

Though economically less developed, North Koreans do enjoy free education, free health care and free housing.


Pyongyang during the day

North Koreans receive 11 years of compulsory free education, including one year pre-school, four years at primary school and 6 years in junior and senior highs, with text books and other stationary costs all covered by the government. About 50 percent of high school graduates have a chance for further tertiary education, which are also paid by the government with living allowances provided. Consequently, the literacy rates in North Korea are reported to be 99 percent for both men and women.

The general free health care system was put into the place since 1953 which has contributed to the increased life expectancy among its people. It is claimed that the life expectancy for North Korean men has reached 73 and for women is as high as 75.

All graduates in North Korea, regardless they are from high schools or colleges, would be assigned a job (which they may or may not like very much), and along with a job is a furnished flat or house between 80m2 to 150m2(which may or may not be in a very good condition), and along with a flat or house are nearly free water, electricity, gas and heating supplies. However, no residents in North Korea are allowed to own a flat or house and therefore if they change their jobs, they will have to change their residence accordingly.


Pyongyang at night

North Korea is also a country with an age pension system that covers every man after 60 and each woman over 55. The amount of pension that retired workers receive depends on their contribution during the working years, ranging from a full payment to 40 percent of their wages.

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(Source of photos:

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