Kim Jong-un may have executed Pyongyang Airport's head architect in November 2014 because he didn’t like the airport’s designs.
Ma Won-chun, the head architect of Pyongyang Airport's new terminal, remained missing as Kim Jong-un toured the recently re-designed building, The Independent reports.
Six high-level diplomats, including Ma, disappeared last year after Kim oversaw a government purge. The Diplomat news outlet alleged that he was murdered in November for “corrupt practices and failure to follow orders,” which many people are speculating actually means that Ma’s airport design was not up to par with the dictator’s tastes.
“Defects were manifested in the last phase of the construction of the Terminal 2 because the designers failed to bear in mind the party’s idea of architectural beauty that it is the life and soul and core in architecture to preserve the Juche character and national identity,” Kim Jong-un stated in comments reported by the Korean Central News Agency. “It is necessary to finish the construction of the terminal to be an icon of Songun Korea, the face of the country and the gateway to Pyongyang…”
News sources allege that Ma coincidentally disappeared around the same time that Kim issued this statement.
The dictator appeared to be impressed with the runway and was content with the terminal’s new alterations, telling KCNA that he was "very satisfied to see the terminal well built in harmony with modern aesthetic taste and national character."
Ma, however, is nowhere to be found.
Despite the country’s economic struggles, Kim Jong-un reportedly requested that workers build a high-speed railway to the airport and beautify the areas nearby, presumably so that the airport, which will serve mostly Chinese and Russian flights, can impress visitors.
Regardless of the international airport’s looks, there will be few incoming flights, as North Korea is one of the least-visited countries in the world.
After a Pyongyang apartment collapsed in May, Kim has overseen more construction projects to let people know he takes them seriously.
“The rate of Kim’s visits to construction projects, both ongoing and recently completed, roughly tripled after the accident in May,” said NK News leadership analyst John Grisafi. “I think it’s quite clear that Pyongyang wants to show the leadership is very concerned with this issue and is really doing something to enforce standards…”
Allegations of Ma’s execution certainly reflect a new kind of concern for construction.
Image Source: WikiCommons