Construction of Pyongyang General Hospital Progressing Rapidly and New Nearby Building

Commercial satellite imagery from April 28 indicates that construction of the Pyongyang General Hospital is progressing rapidly. Outlines of both of the hospital’s towers are clearly visible and Tower 2 (the southern tower) appears to already be five or six stories high.

Pouring of the foundation floor at the west end of the facility is nearly complete, and the only remaining section to be poured is to the rear of Tower 1. The foundation for the section behind Tower 2 is complete and wall columns are being added.

Figure 1. Overview of hospital construction site.

Image Pleiades © CNES 2020, Distribution Airbus DS. For media options, please contact [email protected].

The new hospital is not the only major construction project that has taken place in central Pyongyang in recent months. Across the Taedong River, a large building at the heart of Pyongyang’s power base appears to be externally complete less than three months after work began. The purpose of the new building is unknown, but it is next to the conference hall attached to the Central Committee building of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

Figure 2. Large building externally complete.

Image Pleiades © CNES 2020, Distribution Airbus DS. For media options, please contact [email protected].

The new building appears to be around 75 meters long and 50 meters wide, and unique in shape, presumably to fit between existing buildings. It is almost as large as the Central Committee building itself and replaces a smaller building that was believed to be a Kim family clinic.

Figure 3. Construction work observed in April 2020.

Satellite image © 2020 Maxar Technologies. All rights reserved. For media licensing options, please contact [email protected].

The first signs of construction on this building appeared in early February 2020, when temporary blue-roofed huts, as often seen in support areas of North Korean construction sites, appeared behind the Central Committee building. In front of the Central Committee building, several large pieces of construction machinery were observed enclosed by a fence.

Figure 4. Construction staging observed in February 2020.

Image © 2020 Planet Labs, Inc. cc-by-nc-sa 4.0.

Given the size and location of the construction project, situated right in the heart of the central government district, it likely caused considerable noise, pollution and disruptions for Party officials.

Across the street from this new building, a large construction project was completed in 2019. This project consisted of two large, multi-story buildings of similar design and a walled-off section behind them with three small buildings. The complex was built on land that had been previously garden plots. There is one section of this complex that has been cleared but remains undeveloped, on which another building could still be built.

Figure 5. Overview of 2019 and 2020 construction projects.

Image Pleiades © CNES 2020, Distribution Airbus DS. For media options, please contact [email protected].
Stay informed about our latest
news, publications, & uploads:
I'm interested in...
38 North: News and Analysis on North Korea