PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA —
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un cut a ceremonial ribbon Thursday to mark the opening of a major new city development project in Pyongyang.
A series of skyscraper apartment blocks have been put up in just over a year along Ryomyong Street, which runs out of downtown Pyongyang, past North Korea's top university and down to the palace where the country's past leaders are kept embalmed.
One of the apartment buildings is Pyongyang's tallest, at 70 stories.
Though Kim attended the opening he did not make a speech. North Korean Premier Pak Pong Ju said the project "incorporates the latest architectural science and technology, including solar and geothermal technology, and the greening of roofs and walls."
The construction has gone on at breakneck speed, interrupted only by flooding in northeastern North Korea last autumn, when resources where temporarily diverted to reconstruction of homes there.
Saturday marks the 105th birthday of national founder Kim Il Sung, and North Korea has a history of connecting landmark construction projects to important dates.
The most recent previous example is another new street, Mirae Street. It was built in time for the 65th anniversary in 2015 of founding of North Korea's ruling Worker's Party.