On March 20, a reliable, high-ranking source in North Korea reported, "The 'Plan for 100 Thousand New Homes' which is underway, has been changed. Now only 55 thousand houses will be newly constructed, and 45 thousand existing homes will be refurbished.
The source indicated that a meeting was held by the Capital Construction Department, regarding this subject, on February 14. The final changes to the plan were announced a month later, on March 14.
According to the changed plan, they will build only 10 thousand new houses out of the previously planned 20 thousand houses in the central districts of downtown Pyoungyang, namely Joong District, Pyoungchun District, and Seosung District. Instead of cutting 10 thousand new houses out of the plan, they will rebuild 45 thousand existing houses. They also plan to remodel over 90% of welfare and cultural facilities, as well as amenities of this region.
As for Daepyoung area of Mankyoungdae Distirct in Pyoungyang, only 30 thousand new houses will be constructed out of previously planned 65 thousand. For Hyoungjae Mt. District and Ryukpo District, only 10 thousand houses will be constructed, and 10 thousand existing houses will be reformed and repaired. In Yongsung and Soonahn District, 5 thousand new houses will be constructed.
In summary, 55 houses will be newly constructed, while 45 thousand existing houses will be renovated according to the revised 'Plan for 100 Thousand New Homes.' Our analysis is that this drastic change is a result of their funding shortage, a crisis that NKSIS reported in January.
The North’s ambition to carry out the 'Plan for 100 Thousand New Homes' is fueled by their desire to meet the expectations set by their own “Strong and Wealthy Nation 2012” campaign. The plan was devised in 2009, and they began the construction in September of the same year. Since then, they had devoted all their energy into the plan, shouting “maximum effort” and "maximum efficiency."
However, our source reported that by early 2011, the North has been lacking considerable amount of finances to purchase large heavy equipment and various material as well as fuel for the construction. The foreign investment so far is less than 10% of their original expectation of $500~800 million. This financial crisis led to change of the plan.
Although Kim Jong-il is known to have launched the 'Plan for 100 Thousand New Homes,' it is currently under the leadership of Kim Jong-un. This project is related to their efforts to promote Kim Jong-un's achievement and establish his regime. The change of this plan represents a setback for establishing the regime of 3rd hereditary successor, Kim Jong-un.
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