Pyongyang undoubtedly has the least traffic problems of any capital city in the world. First time visitors are always amazed at how little traffic there is on its roads. This is Kwangbok (Liberation) Street in Pyongyang – a ten lane wide boulevard through a relatively affluent residential district west of the city centre. I had to wait for several minutes for some cars to appear so that I could include them in the photograph to give the road some scale. The man crossing the road in a white uniform is a traffic warden – not a very stressful job in Pyongyang!
When I asked why the roads were so wide, I was advised that this was in preparation for the reunification the country once they had succeeded in driving out the American imperialists who were occupying the southern half of Korea.
Some of the buildings along this street are 42 stories high. I had heard that they had been built with no elevators. When I asked my guides if this was true, they just laughed. I am not sure whether that meant yes or no. I suppose if you are lucky enough to be allocated a unit on the top floor (people in North Korea are not able to choose their apartments – they are just ‘allocated’) then you wouldn’t have to bother about keeping fit if you had to walk up 42 floors every day.