North Korean Photos Show Scores Of Workers Building An Airport At Record Speed

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North Korean soldiers oversee the refinishing of the new runway at Pyongyang International Airport. The work is done mainly by hand.

AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

The image at right, taken by an AP photographer, shows the spot in Pyongyang, North Korea, where the government is building a new international airport terminal at record speed.

The AP reports that the initiative is part of a series of “speed campaigns,” big infrastructures built in record-time thanks to thousands of workers dressed in brown or green uniforms, who “toil under huge signs calling on them to carry out their tasks with ‘Korea Speed,'” the AP writes. Patriotic music is also blasted from loudspeakers as they work.

North Korea is hungry for foreign cash and since Kim Jong Un took over as supreme leader a couple of years ago, the country has launched an ambitious campaign to boost the appeal of the reclusive kingdom to international tourists. Remember the Dennis Rodman stunt?

Pyongyang, though, is still served by an old, small airport, Pyongyang Sunan. It has just one baggage carousel and a tiny duty free shop. Only a handful of international connections fly there, mainly from China.

Work on the new airport is still done the old style, with a few simple tools or even by hand. The AP reports that most of the work is now completed, and the workers are focused on flattening a large tarmac area outside the terminal, as shown in the picture below. The date of the opening has not been announced yet.

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A man visits the construction yard at Pyongyang International Airport on a guided visit.

AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

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