North Korea unveils shiny new, empty airport


Pyongyang: North Korea state media has featured photos of the grand new Pyongyang Airport, which will open for business on July 1. Despite the sweeping famine and poverty across the country, and the fact that North Korea only receives a handful of flights, the new facility appears modern and sleek, and no doubt cost plenty of cash.

As the BBC reports, the new terminal is up to six times larger than the old building it is replacing. One photograph of the interior shows tasty snacks and beverages one would expect to find in any airport in a less democratically-isolated nation, raising some questions as to how they found a way into the country. Once the new terminal is operational it will exclusively serve international routes, while the old building will be used for domestic travel. Only 3 airlines currently fly into Pyongyang Sunan International Airport, and of those only 2 offer regular services (Air Koryo is the national North Korean carrier, while Air China offers a direct service between Pyongyang and Beijing).

There is also some talk that a high-speed rail linking the airport with the city may be commissioned in the future, making it even easier for the 15 or so tourists that visit the country each year to reach downtown Pyongyang.