Kim Jong Eun recently visited the ongoing construction of a second terminal at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang, Rodong Sinmun reported on July 11th.
Kim Jong Eun provides energetic guidance to NDC Design Department head Ma Won Chun
at Sunan International Airport. | Image: KCNA
According to the report, Kim “[stressed] that the terminal of Pyongyang International Airport is the gateway to Pyongyang and the face of the country, [and] underscored the need to build it as a proud edifice in the era of the Workers' Party both in architectural style and content, and as befitting the appearance of a highly civilized socialist nation.”
Two years have passed since Kim first proposed the second terminal in July 2012, and Rodong Sinmun estimates construction to be 75% complete at the time of writing.
During the inspection Kim declared, "It is important to firmly preserve Juche character in architecture [...] instructing officials to introduce the world trend and good experience of other countries into the construction of the terminal and, at the same time, make sure that national identity is preserved in it."
Additionally, Kim "underscored the need to build the sections for arrival, check-in and departure, lounge, interview room, restaurant, etc. for the best convenience of passengers and to be impeccable in the aspects of architectural beauty and formative art.”
Kim finally declared the need to equip the terminal with modern facilities and build service facilities in a unique style. He proposed measures for staff training to improve service provision.
He also called for greater service provision near the airport, which lies 20km from the capital and currently has no facilities at all. He suggested the need for a hotel and buses from the terminal, and, in keeping with North Korea's reliance on low-cost military labor, "stressed the need for the soldier-builders to enhance their responsibility and role.”
Kim was accompanied by a military-led team including the head of the Chosun People's Army General Political Department Hwang Pyong So and National Defense Commission Design Department head Ma Won Chun.
It is by no means clear that North Korea can, or is willing to, generate the passenger numbers that would justify such an expenditure.