KEY POINTS

  • Kim Jong Un toured the reconstruction sites in the south Hamgyong Province
  • The homes are being built by the military and the country's elite party members
  • In September, Typhoons Maysak and Haishen flooded and destroyed thousands of homes

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un showcased newly built homes in the eastern areas of Sinpho City and Hongwon County after typhoons and floods destroyed thousands of homes and left many displaced earlier this year.

State Newspaper Rodong Sinmun on Thursday published photos of Kim smiling as he toured the red and white homes in the South Hamgyong Province's reconstruction sites, Reuters reported. 

In early September, North Korea was hit with "disastrous meteorological phenomena," specifically Typhoons Maysak and Haishen. The heavy rains flooded and destroyed thousands of homes and left the transportation system paralyzed. Many of the homes affected by the natural disaster had only been built four years earlier. 

On Wednesday, state-run media KCNA announced that Kim would order the military and the country's elite party members to rebuild over 25,000 homes over the next five years. The North Korean leader also expressed regret over the destruction of the houses after visiting one of the country's worst-hit areas. 

Last week, Kim shed tears for "failing to protect people" from COVID-19 and natural calamities. He also criticized the country's construction practices and said the industry responsible for manufacturing building materials should develop and produce more efficient equipment and tools. 

North Korean forces have constructed 60% of the 2,300 houses planned in the Komdok area in South Hamgyong province, the report said.

In 2016, Typhoon Lionrock caused massive flooding in the North Hamgyong province. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), over 30,000 homes were severely damaged, with 18,600 entirely destroyed by the flooding and the landslides. 

The North Korean government built 100 new housing developments in areas heavily affected by the recent typhoon. The housing developments were built along the rivers that flooded. However, they failed to reinforce the riverbanks or create new measures to prevent future flooding, North Korean News reported. 

On Sept. 3, Typhoon Maysak's landfall caused river waters to overflow and submerge at least 21 housing developments. Satellite imagery from Planet Labs showed that houses were destroyed in at least four developments. The river waters also reached new developments and washed away older homes located near some of the reconstruction sites.

Kim Jong Un is offering the world a different image: emotional and apologetic Kim Jong Un is offering the world a different image: emotional and apologetic Photo: KCTV / STR