New, modern terminal of Pyongyang Intl Airport put into use
Updated: 2015-07-02 09:23
People attend the opening ceremony for the newly built terminal of Pyongyang International Airport in this undated picture released by Democratic People's Republic of Korea(DPRK's)Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 1, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
PYONGYANG - The newly completed terminal of Pyongyang International Airport, which the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) says is "a model edifice in the Songun era," was officially put into use starting Wednesday after a topping out ceremony held here in the morning.
The modern and spectacular airport terminal, which overshadows the one-story old one right next to it, is a three-story building plus an underground parking lot. The first floor was designed for international arrivals and second floor for departures.
Cars can also be parked on the open ground outside the terminal which is roughly estimated to be able to accommodate 100 cars.
On the top floor there are three restaurants offering totally different cuisines, including one European restaurant, one Asian restaurant and one Minzok (meaning "national") restaurant which features Korean-style food. The Asian restaurant even offers Peking roast duck at a price of $7.
While the other two are open for all visitors at the airport, the Minzok restaurant can only be accessed by passengers who have finished check-in procedures and gone through security check.
There are also shoe stores, coffee shops and stores selling electronic goods (both domestically-made and imported), toys and Korean traditional costumes. A woman's dress sells at about $80, cheaper than individually tailored dresses sold elsewhere in Pyongyang.
Coffee prices range from 2.5 dollars to 10 dollars (Cognac coffee) a cup. Coca cola and orange smoothies are offered for 0.5 dollars each.
A young barista named Kim Myong Won said he had been sent to Germany for a two-month training session to learn how to make coffee and cocktail before working here. The coffee maker was imported from Italy to ensure the quality of the coffee, he said.
Kim said he has acquired a qualification certificate and can speak some English for communication with international passengers. Most staff working here are able to speak English, Chinese or Russian in order to better serve the visitors, he added.
Also, there are shops offering photography services, cosmetics and skin care products and watches launched by Air Koryo (the only airline company in the DPRK) in collaboration with Swiss companies. Passengers can have the staff take a picture of them and print it out and frame it in crystal-clear glass to make it a souvenir in 30 minutes. The service is only available at the airport and Masikryong ski resort, the staff said. Prices range from 3 to 60 dollars.
The broad range of services are offered around the clock, said airport staff.
Visitors are not prohibited from taking photos in the terminal. Many DPRK families are busy taking pictures in the hall with big smiles on their face.