North Korea: Photos of new Ryomyong street complex that is 'scarier' than hundreds of nuclear bombs

The opening ceremony comes after China urged North Korea to halt its nuclear programme in exchange for greater protection from Beijing.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un opened a new residential complex on Ryomyong street, Pyongyang on Thursday (13 April) as tensions on the peninsula mount.

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 70 stories high, making it Pyongyang's tallest.

Soldiers march through the newly constructed residential complex in Ryomyong street in Pyongyang, after its opening ceremonyDamir Sagolj/Reuters

North Korea's premier Pak Pong-ju said that the successful completion of the complex is ''scarier'' than hundreds of nuclear bombs' for their enemies. "Truly, the construction of Ryomyong street is a significant great event, which shows the single-hearted unity of our party and the people, as well as the development potential of socialist Korea. It is scarier than the explosion of hundreds of nuclear bombs above the enemies' heads," Pong-ju said, during the ceremony.

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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.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrives for an opening ceremony of a newly constructed residential complex in Ryomyong streetDamir Sagolj/Reuters
Men wait for the opening ceremony to beginDamir Sagolj/Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un cuts the ribbon during an opening ceremony of a newly constructed residential complex in Ryomyong streetDamir Sagolj/Reuters
People look towards the stage as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un cuts the ribbon during the opening ceremonyDamir Sagolj/Reuters

South Korea said on Thursday it believed it would be consulted by the United States before any possible pre-emptive US strike against Pyongyang. China urged the North to halt its nuclear programme in exchange for greater protection from Beijing. With a US aircraft carrier group steaming to the area, tensions on the Korean peninsula grew this week amid concern that the reclusive North could soon conduct its sixth nuclear test or more missile launches in defiance of United Nations sanctions.

"This is simple. We have the strength of military first policy made by great leaders and the power of nuclear state developed by dear respected leader Kim Jong-un, that's why we feel reassured and completely calm in our hearts." Pyongyang resident Kim Son Guk told Reuters.

China, North Korea's sole major ally and benefactor, has called for a peaceful resolution after a sharp rise in rhetoric between the United States and Pyongyang.

Men wearing uniforms walk through the newly constructed residential complex after the opening ceremonyDamir Sagolj/Reuters
Soldiers visit the complexDamir Sagolj/Reuters
A North Korean soldier smiles as people visit the complexDamir Sagolj/Reuters
North Korean soldiers stand guard before the opening ceremonyDamir Sagolj/Reuters

Saturday (15 April) 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.

A vendor is pictured in a shop inside the newly constructed residential complexDamir Sagolj/Reuters
People look at shoes sold in a shop at the complexDamir Sagolj/Reuters
People are seen through a red flag as they walk through the residential complexDamir Sagolj/Reuters
Women wearing traditional clothes walk past North Korean soldiers after an opening ceremonyDamir Sagolj/Reuters
People walk between buildings after the opening ceremonyDamir Sagolj/Reuters
People look at the newly constructed residential complex after its opening ceremonyDamir Sagolj/Reuters
People look at a map of the newly constructed residential complex, following the opening ceremonyDamir Sagolj/Reuters
A man looks at a map of the newly constructed residential complexDamir Sagolj/Reuters

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