North Korea Today No. 397


“Pyongyang within Pyongyang” - Electricity Provided 24/7 in Joong (Central) District

Last winter, the residents of Pyongyang expressed discomfort at the fact that electricity was provided for less than one hour per day on average. It was more a matter of life and death than simple discomfort since residents were unable to turn on the heat in freezing weather. The residents expressed discontent and complained, demanding “Why is the electricity condition becoming worse year by year when it is said that the Strong and Prosperous Nation is so near? This year was the worst.” The officials that visited Pyongyang also recalled that “Everywhere we visited, the residents were extremely vocal when complaining on the issue of electricity shortage” and clearly remembered their anxiety. There was one place that was unaffected by the worst electricity crisis: Joong District. Joong District is often referred to as the “Pyongyang within Pyongyang” and is home to high ranking officials and artists. Regular citizens are not happy about the newly built apartment for artists next to the Dae-Dong River in Joong District. “With electricity and hot water provided 24/7, it is heaven on earth.” Apartments which are merely tens of meters away turn into darkness at night, but the newly built apartment glows like the sun. Artist apartments regulated by the Central Party have completely different electricity policies compared to the normalapartments regulated by the City Party. Provided as a kind of gift by the Central Party, the apartment receives the same privileges as the apartments for officials which are on Changgwang street.