News

What food crisis? North Korea to build Big Ben, Eiffel Tower

NORTH Korea is to build a replica of Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower for a huge new theme park that will open in its capital Pyongyang.

According to the Associated Press, the only western news agency allowed to permanently operate inside the country, the theme park is to be the crowning glory in a colossal construction project currently taking place across the capital.

The numerous building developments are believed to represent an end to decades of austerity in North Korea, with the government using the slogan "no more belt-tightening" despite reports of mass starvation across the country and conditions in schools and colleges said to be "deteriorating rapidly".

AP reported on the changes in Pyongyang, describing how parts of the city have seen major redevelopment, with supermarkets now selling Coca Cola and other US brands, while "shop girls wear French designer labels, people with money can buy Italian wine, Swiss chocolates, kiwi fruit imported from New Zealand and fresh-baked croissants".

The report comes a month after the China Daily newspaper reported that North Korea was planning to build a mini-golf theme park called the Rungna People's Pleasure Ground in Pyongyang in a bid to double the number of foreign tourists visiting the city.

That project was said to have been directly commissioned by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as an extension of his interests in sports, in particular golf.

The China Daily report also revealed ongoing projects at Kumgang Mountain, Ullim Falls and in the city of Songdowon on North Korea's eastern coast.

All of these projects are said to be designed in order for foreign tourists to "get a deep understanding of the history and culture of Korea" which will "help enhance people-to-people between the DPRK and the rest of the world."

Despite a major constructive drive in the country, conditions in North Korea have been described as "worrying" by the United Nations.

Food is strictly rationed in many parts of the country, with 25 per cent of children suffering "chronic malnutrition", and 2.8 million people "in need of regular food assistance amid worrying levels of chronic malnutrition and food insecurity", according to a UN report.

The report continued: "Supplies of medicines and equipment are inadequate; water and heating systems need repair and the infrastructure of schools and colleges in deteriorating rapidly".

Electricity supplies are increasingly sporadic throughout North Korea, with power cuts occurring several times a day, even in Pyongyang.

Topics:  editors picks, kim jong un, north korea




Acquittal on five DV-related charges

Grafton CourthousePhoto Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Jury finds defendent not guilty after three day trial

Li Garden wins the popular vote

Danny and Tania Li, from Li Garden, who won the Daily Examiner poll for the best Chinese in Grafton.

Li Garden has been voted number one by the locals.

Opinion: To SRV or not to SRV

Craig Howe.

One option for making ends meet

Latest deals and offers

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

Troy Cassar-Daley announces extra concerts

TCD

Two concerts in Clarence Valley in 2017

Rachel Weisz understands celebrity gossip fascination

Actor Rachel Weisz

Weisz says mystery is good for an actor

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m