North Korea cuts Pyongyang in half because of food shortage

Pyongyang North KoreaPyongyang is North Korea’s showplace. It’s one of the few spots in the country foreigners are allowed to see, and even then under tightly controlled circumstances. The people allowed to live in the most prestigious city in the unusual nation tend to be politically reliable, favored by the regime and, quite frankly, not fat or ugly. Well, the best address in North Korea is about to get a lot more exclusive.

According to an AFP report, the North Korean government has halved its capital’s population. Food shortages drove the move. Interestingly, it wasn’t just the population that got chopped – the city itself did too. The southern districts of the city were reallocated to North Hwanghae province, which touches the capital.

Half a million people had their addresses – and social status – changed as a result of this. Also, they lose the benefits associated with living in Pyongyang, a change that will save the perpetually cash-strapped regime some more money.

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[photo by David Stanley via Flickr]