Castle & yacht of North Korea’s mysterious elite revealed in satellite photo as Kim’s friend hoards cash and luxury cars

The decadent lives of North Korea’s elite have been exposed, as satellite photos show close allies of dictator Kim Jong-un living lavishly and hoarding their wealth.

While the average salary is at North Korea At just £1,200 a year, the super-rich in this secret communist dictatorship amassed huge fortunes, including fleets of expensive European cars, designer clothes and cognac.

Many North Korean elites live in and around the capital, Pyongyang


Many North Korean elites live in and around the capital, PyongyangCredits: Jupiter Image
Taebodong, gather around the giant Ryugyong Hotel


Taebodong, gather around the giant Ryugyong HotelCredit: Getty – Contributor
Kim has 13 properties around North Korea


Kim has 13 properties around North KoreaCredit: Rex

Google map Images from space show grand mansions, leaf-roofed compounds and even beach resorts within the so-called “hermit kingdom”.

Despot Kim Jong-un has his own mansion in a secret compound near the port city of Wonsan on the east coast of Korea.

In 2020, it was reported that Kim has a newly built villa in a remote coastal area at the southernmost tip of the Hodo peninsula, where Google Maps images show his yacht Princess – worth approx. $7m (£5.2m) in 2013 – anchored. upward.

Michael Madden, a US-based expert on North Korea, told The Sun Online: “This is the same neighborhood that Dennis Rodman visited during one of his visits to the country.”

A non-resident at the Stimson Center continued: “Some sources claim that the Wonsan compound is Kim Jong-un’s main residence.

“That means, he has an official residence in Pyongyang, but spends most of his time at the Wonsan residence.”

Michael previously compared Wonsan to Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in Florida, calling it “one of his favorite homes”.

Kim’s new villa is located on the opposite side of Yonghung Bay from Wonsan, where there is an existing villa and a large cluster of houses inhabited by the North Korean elite.

Wonsan has become one of the surprising tourist areas of North Korea and even has a water park.

Reuters previously reported that the city is dotted with guest villas and has its own private beach, basketball court and train station.

Nearby is the tourist town of Wonsan-Kalma, a brand new Dubai-like beach resort next to an airport that stretches along a 4-kilometer stretch of beach.

Many of the country’s richest people have homes in the capital, Pyongyang, especially along Changkwang Street and in Taebodong.

Michael continued: “The North Korean elite have several neighborhoods in Pyongyang.

“Rich North Koreans often hide money in their homes.”

This usually takes place in the form of hard foreign currency, as opposed to the weaker North Korean won.

Many of the wealthiest North Koreans live in and around Changkwang Street near Pyongyang’s “forbidden city,” where the KJU headquarters as well as his official residence are located.

We are talking about gilded marble houses

Michael MaddenNon-Resident Colleague, Stimson Center

Taebodong is one of the wealthiest areas of the capital, centered around giants, Unfinished Ryugyong Hotelthe so-called “Doom’s Hotel”.

As the tallest building in North Korea, it is 330m tall and dominates the city skyline.

Kim is said to have as many as 13 important compounds around the country where he may live, although he only seems to regularly use half of them.

Wonsan is particularly useful to Kim because its location allows him to easily travel to other areas along the east coast, or quickly return to Pyongyang by private train or along a special highway. specially designed for you.

North Korea’s elites can be divided into two main categories; those that include Kim and his family, and those who make money through commercial activity and state contracts.

The second group manages and operates large commercial conglomerates that are “technically part of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea or the Korean People’s Army,” Michael continued.

He said: “The core elite families – like Kim Jong-un – have billions of US dollars. When we go to the group of merchants and small business owners, that amount can be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. America.”

Michael also gets a glimpse of the lavish lifestyles of North Korea’s elite.

Changgwang Street in Pyongyang is home to many of the city's elite


Changgwang Street in Pyongyang is home to many of the city’s eliteCredit: Google Maps
Hodo Peninsula, where Kim keeps his yacht


Hodo Peninsula, where Kim keeps his yachtCredit: google maps
Samsok is the home of one of Kim's presidential houses


Samsok is the home of one of Kim’s presidential housesCredit: google maps
Kim's Princess yacht was previously seen moored in Wonsan


Kim’s Princess yacht was previously seen moored in Wonsan
Wonsan-Kalma, North Korea's very own Dubai


Wonsan-Kalma, North Korea’s very own Dubai

“We’re talking homes with gilded marble, high-end carpets and other designs, high-end electronics, luxury cars like Mercedes and Maybach, designer shoes and handbags.

“One of the most famous stories about North Korea’s elite is that in the early 2000s, North Korea was the biggest buyer of Hennessey cognac.

“There’s a common misconception that this is the private stock of the late leader Kim Jong-Il. It’s instead for other North Korean elites – as a personal gift or something. served at the leaders’ banquets.”

Although North Korea has successfully quelled any hope of an uprising among ordinary people, Michael says tensions persist among the country’s elites.

He added: “We are seeing the regime put some members of the mercantile elite on its heels.

In 2020, gave an insight into life for the rich kids of North Korea.

Those with the resources can buy a surprising number of Western brands in Pyongyang, from luxury brands like Chanel and Prada to more affordable chains like Zara, H&M, Adidas and Nike.

They follow the country’s strict fashion rules that ban miniskirts and blazers by dressing to the gym.

Plastic surgeries are becoming more popular for the 1%, as they look like common procedures in Korea, including eyelid surgery or nose implants.

The secrecy surrounding North Korea means that Google Maps often provides the most accurate picture of the country.

Earlier this week, refrigeration satellite photos revealed a North Korea’s secret missile base on the country’s border with China.

The discovery comes after a report by Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), who identified the site as the Hoejung-ni bunker. Castle & yacht of North Korea’s mysterious elite revealed in satellite photo as Kim’s friend hoards cash and luxury cars

Bobby Allyn

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