By Kim Young-chan and Kim Young Song North Korea’s long-standing practice of building luxury homes in remote and inaccessible areas has made the country one of the world’s most inaccessible places for most of its people, according to a new study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
“The problem of the North’s housing system has been growing over the past decades, and it’s one that is likely to continue,” the authors write.
The researchers analyzed the North Korean housing system in 2000, 2001, and 2009 to determine which parts of the country are more accessible to the general population.
They found that North Koreans are still largely stuck in the countryside, where they face significant obstacles in getting access to the main cities, including a lack of roads and access to transportation.
The study’s authors write that North Korea has only one major airport, a major train station, and three major ports.
North Korea is also home to the world-famous Sinuiju, the largest floating prison in the world.
The authors found that the majority of North Koreans do not have access to any form of modern transportation.
“Most of the population lives in rural areas,” the report says.
“This means that the rural population has limited means to travel outside the cities and face a higher risk of physical and psychological hazards than the urban population.”
This lack of access to modern amenities has forced the majority to live in homes built to last through natural disasters.
This has created a “culture of living on the edge,” according to the report.
Many of these rural communities have “a history of being at the crossroads of culture and survival,” and are prone to “a lack of social interaction, and even a lack in the ability to communicate,” according the authors.
The report’s authors also found that many of the rural communities are “living in a very rural environment, with no paved roads, no water or sanitation facilities, and no paved paths, and are in the process of being demolished by the [North Korean] government.”
North Korean households also tend to live more independently, “with fewer than 10 people living together,” according a report published by the North Korea-based Center for Social Cohesion.
This creates “an environment of isolation and isolationism,” the Center’s report said.
“There is a significant risk that people will move out of their homes and into rural areas to escape poverty, which has led to the isolation and deprivation that many North Koreans suffer.”
The report also found “that a significant portion of the [rural] population” live in urban areas.
The majority of the people living in rural North Korea live in rural communities.
In the rural areas, “a significant portion [of the population] is separated from each other, and has limited social interaction and a lack on communication, and also a lack for basic amenities,” according CSIS.
These findings were corroborated by the U.N. Human Rights Council’s report, which found that in 2011, the average household in North Korea was only 4,700 people, down from 4,800 in 2007.
“The North Korean system of government, and the political leaderships [sic] attitude towards the country’s people, has created an environment that is difficult to move from one place to another,” the UN report said, according for a similar assessment in 2009.
A key issue is the lack of communication between the government and its citizens, which the report described as “the biggest obstacle for a number of reasons.”
“There are some [sides] that [the government] has been very cooperative, some [government] people, some individuals that have been friendly, some government officials have been supportive of [the] development of the city,” the study said.
But the report also noted that “there are those who have been very critical of the development of North Korea.”
In 2011, for example, the North Koreans “were very critical,” the CSIS report said; they “strongly disapproved of the government, the state-run media, and those who are not ‘official.'”
These critics, the report said “are often those who view North Korea as a totalitarian state.”
The CSIS authors also wrote that North Korean “officials and others who criticize the government are considered enemies of the state.”
It was also noted in the report that many residents of the countryside were forced to work as domestics.
“North Koreans have traditionally lived in a rural society, where their primary source of livelihood is agriculture, and where they have to live and work in a subsistence economy,” the researchers said.
As a result, “they are highly vulnerable to a variety of forms of exploitation, including physical and sexual abuse.”
The authors wrote that in the rural area, “there is no functioning state institution to provide assistance to the poor, and they lack access to legal protection to protect themselves against abuse or violence.”
North Korea “has no legal framework to provide basic social services,” the analysts said, which makes it difficult for the government to protect