Kim Jong-un has his priorities: nuclear missiles, mass games, and now airports. Kim is reportedly seeking to salvage the DPRK’s lacklustre tourism record by hiring a team of capitalist roaders from Hong Kong to redesign the nation’s airports. Because antiquated airport design was the biggest obstacle keeping tourists away.
While some design firms may balk at the idea of getting involved in the vain pet-project of an abusive and capricious dictator, Otto Cheng Ping-lun of PLT Planning and Architecture is on board! South China Morning Post interviewed Cheng and reports:
“We were approached by a potential investor who is very close to the North Korean government,” he said.
Cheng said the investor, whose company is registered in Hong Kong, was authorised by North Korea to choose an architect to design the Pyongyang airport. He declined to reveal further details of the investor, including whether he was a mainlander.
“My partner was invited [to fly to North Korea] on a private jet provided by the investor. Of course, they had to leave their mobile phones in the airport before entering the country,” he added. […]
Cheng said construction was on hold after the missile tests conducted by Kim earlier this year, but he was optimistic that the project would go ahead.
“We believe [Kim Jong-un] will turn his attention to the economic front soon,” he said. […]
Cheng admits there is a downside to working with such clients. “We didn’t get paid for a new town design of 6,000 hectares when the government of Kyrgyzstan was overthrown,” he said.