(NewsGlobal.com)- Even as he encourages people to make personal sacrifices to endure a dire economic crisis, Kim Jong-un is adding to his extensive collection of opulent residences.
According to high-definition satellite images analyzed by Seoul-based news site NK news, the dictatorial North Korean leader ordered the construction of elaborate new buildings at his lakeside estate in South Pyongan province as recently as last month.
Images provided by Planet Labs construction work has recently been going on at a luxurious housing complex on Yonphung Lake, a lovely location surrounded by forested hills that is off-limits to the general public.
The project started in May 2021 with an ambitious 21,000 square-meter addition and a four-story tower, but construction on a second 2,600 square-meter new residence didn’t begin until early September.
As the restorations have progressed, satellite footage reveals a sizable construction workers’ camp, suggesting that workers would continue to construct during the chilly winter.
The Kim dynasty has a long history of enriching itself with opulent lifestyles and delicacies unavailable to North Korean citizens while pouring money into developing a nuclear weapon that has led to crippling international sanctions.
The Kim family has continued to enjoy gourmet cuisine, premium liquor, and expensive cars, while ordinary residents have been denied access to essential household commodities and items.
Experts have cautioned that the 25 million-person country is grappling with dangerously high levels of hunger, and Kim himself issued a warning last year, urging people to prepare for a disaster akin to the devastating famine of the 1990s.
Bruce Songhak Chung, the deputy director of Kyungpook National University’s Geo Satellite Information Research Institute in South Korea, claims that the Kim family has access to up to 30 opulent towns and many privately owned islands are available for vacations.
Dennis Rodman apparently stayed at Kim’s exclusive beach resort during one of the basketball star’s visits to the pariah state, according to Mr. Chung. The complex has ten villas scattered along its 530-meter-long white sandy beach, well-kept gardens, walking paths, a marina, a horse-riding range, a shooting range, and a water park.