All governments lie, but it takes a special kind of manipulative streak to create an entire town just to keep up pretensions. Built in the guarded Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates North and South Korea, Kijong- dong claims to have 200 residents and boasts an image of economic success. Closer observation, however, reveals a different picture. The buildings are actually concrete shells with no glass in their windows, where electric lights operate on an automatic timer, and the only people in sight are maintenance workers who sweep the streets to give the impression of activity.
Meant to serve as ‘Propaganda Village’, Kijong- dong is a decoy for luring South Korean defectors. Massive loud speakers delivered DPRK propaganda broadcasts to the south that praised North Korea’s virtues and urged disgruntled soldiers and farmers to walk across the border. When this approach failed to lure defectors, the speakers began blasting 20 hours a day of anti-Western rhetoric, communist operas and patriotic marching music. Finally in 2004, both governments agreed to stop loudspeaker broadcasts to each other.