North Korean Dolphin Aquarium
When you’re Kim Jong Un, the young dictator of an extremely insulated country, you can building a dolphin aquarium regardless of what others may think of the project. According to The Atlantic, the leader of North Korea decided it was time for his people to enjoy the lovable antics of highly-trained dolphins. Instead of addressing the numerous problems his nation is currently facing, Kim thought the money would be better spent elsewhere. After all, who in the country is brave enough to say he’s wrong?
The Chicago Tribune reports that recent flooding in the nation has killed approximately 170 people and left more than 212,000 without homes. As of this writing, nearly 400 people are thought to be missing as a result of the floods. Although the United Nations said it would be a while before North Korea’s food supply can be properly assessed, this hasn’t stopped countries like Vietnam from donating rice to those in need.
If so many people are in dire straits, why didn’t the government step in to help these folks instead of blowing an insane amount of money on a dolphin aquarium? According to The Atlantic, this may have more to do with propaganda than anything else. It’s believed that the recent attraction was designed to reinforce the image of the country as a prosperous nation, one without hunger, poverty, and oppression. Give the masses something fun to stare at and, perhaps, their problems will fade into the background.
Regardless of Kim Jong Un’s reasoning for opening an amusement park when so much could be done to help those less fortunate then himself, it would appear that the creation of Runga Theme Park in Pyongyang was a huge success. The grand opening of the park, which includes a mini-golf course, water slide, beach volleyball, basketball and volleyball courts, was even attended by Kim and his wife.
“The completion of the project makes it possible to bring great benefit to the country by disinfecting water by seawater and satisfactorily supply seawater to the Pyongyang Dolphin Aquarium and the Aquarium in the Central Zoo and thus contribute to the cultural and emotional life of the people,” state media said of the attraction