Dramatic photo shows massive artificial island constructed to be a propaganda base

It’s as if this really is a floating hotel pic.twitter.com/UTugZqZelb — David Kang (@DavidKangYH) May 24, 2016

Archaeologists found a section of an artificial island set up at a propaganda base run by the North Korean government in an abandoned lake near Pyongyang, according to a researcher who posted a photo of the wreckage on Twitter. Among the debris, one of the largest buildings at the site was left jutting out into the water, designed to serve as a hotel and filled with speakers and statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. “It’s as if this really is a floating hotel,” David Kang, a researcher at the University of Southern California who monitors North Korea, wrote in the caption to his image.

And let’s not forget # #banned, #desecrated koi pond along #Lodang Lake pic.twitter.com/zWgxMVPmZw — David Kang (@DavidKangYH) May 25, 2016

The island was the setting for North Korea’s “Mass Games,” another propaganda event to be held annually in the country. The performance featured combined dancing and martial arts performed by groups of “regular citizens,” according to a BBC report, and was intended to show that the country “was making rapid progress.” Today, many residents of North Korea have access to fast internet and smartphones. But much of the rest of the economy is in ruin and remains largely controlled by the government. The island was built on South Korean land near a port, which allowed North Korean officials to watch their southern neighbor—quite an achievement in an authoritarian state where the state decides most of the nitty-gritty of personal life.

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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