N. Korea builds children’s traffic parks amid heavy vehicular traffic

SEOUL-- North Korea is building children's traffic parks to offer safety education amid increasing traffic across the country, the country's state media have reported.

The Rodong Sinmun newspaper, the mouthpiece of the Workers' Party of Korea, said Tuesday the North has completed the construction of the new park in Pyongyang that could contribute to the cultivation of awareness of traffic safety among children.

According to the report, Pyongyang Children's Traffic Park, which was built on a site of 12,000 square meters over six months, is equipped with facilities tailored for children to learn the rules of the road, including a facility for traffic safety education and an outdoor facility.

The North's Korean Central TV reported on May 14 that new children's traffic parks were launched in the northeastern city of Rason and the city of Kanggye in North Korea's northern Jagang Province.

In a June 13 report, the Rodong Sinmun said traffic police officers in South Hwanghae Province had been mobilized for the construction of a children's traffic park.

Based on the reports, the North appears to be implementing a project to construct children's traffic parks in major cities.

The North's traffic park construction boom is interpreted as a result of the social phenomenon of fast-rising traffic. An increase in the number of traffic accidents caused by heavy traffic could prompt the authorities to provide children as well as adults with traffic education.

Chinese and other people participating in tour programs in the North say that the number of traffic lights and CCTV for checking violations has increased in major North Korean cities due to a surge in traffic since leader Kim Jong-un took office in 2011. In Pyongyang, the word "traffic congestion" has even popped up.

Ahn Byung-min, a senior researcher at the Seoul-based Korea Transport Institute, said the activation of markets coupled with a traffic surge has prompted vehicles to come into residential areas and alleys, giving rise to frequent traffic accidents involving children.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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