N Korea blocks windows of high-rises to prevent spying
Seoul: North Korea has blocked the windows of high-rise apartments in Pyongyang, its showcase capital city, to prevent residents from looking down, or spying, on the party and government buildings where its top leader, Kim Jong-un, conducts business, a news report said on Friday.
Under Kim, North Korea has engineered a building boom in Pyongyang, raising a slew of high-rise apartment buildings and doling out the housing to nuclear and missile scientists and other elites. But the building boom appears to have created a problem: Residents of top floors of the buildings can literally look down on state buildings where Kim, the North’s totalitarian leader, and other party elites work.
In July, Daily NK, a Seoul-based website that specialises in North Korea news, reported that officials from the ministry of state security, the North’s secret police, had visited top-floor apartments commanding a view of key government facilities in central Pyongyang and installed concrete and other fixed screens blocking the windows.
“The measures were designed to stop people from taking pictures of key state facilities from top-floor apartments and sending them outside North Korea,” Daily NK said, quoting anonymous sources.
On Friday, NK News, another Seoul-based website that specialises in North Korea news, provided photographic evidence that the windows of top-floor rooms in high-rise buildings that face party headquarters were blocked with slats.
It is not possible to determine the motives behind installing the window screens. North Korea remains one of the world’s most isolated countries, and its totalitarian government cultivates a personality cult around Kim and his father and grandfather, who ruled before him. The country allows no independent news media.
But the country is obsessed with sealing off access to outside news. All its news media are controlled by the state. Its newspapers and TV and radio stations carry only propaganda and government-censored news. The country also blocks the global internet to everyone except for a small portion of top elites. Under Kim, North Korea has intensified its crackdown on outside information smuggled through the border with China by way of USBs and DVDs. Turkey
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A Seoul-based media website provided photographic evidence that the windows of top-floor rooms in high-rise buildings that face party HQ were blocked with slats