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N.K. proposes joint architecture education to Switzerland

All News 15:09 January 16, 2017

AALBORG, Denmark, Jan. 16 (Yonhap) -- North Korea and Switzerland are discussing ways to make mutual cooperation in architecture education after the North made such a proposal to the European nation last autumn, a local source well-versed in the socialist nation said Monday.

"As far as I know, the North Korean Embassy in Switzerland conveyed the Stockholm-based KTH Royal Institute of Technology its hope for mutual cooperation in construction engineering education last fall," the source said.

Since then, officials from the mission and KTH are known to have had several contacts, according to the source.

The KTH, however, has yet to decide its stance on the proposal, and will reportedly make a final decision on it after the faculty receives details of the proposal from the North, the source said.

Experts opine the proposal might be intended for the North to design its major cities, including the capital Pyongyang, in a Swedish style.

An official at the South Korean Embassy in Switzerland also confirmed the contacts, saying, "It's true that there have been discussions (between the North and Switzerland) on several projects, including the construction of a ski resort on the Masik Pass." The mountain pass is located in North Korea's South Hamkyong Province.

"But no noticeable progress has been made thus far," the official said.

The KTH is expected to make a final decision on the proposal after a thorough study now that its government is aggressively implementing ongoing U.N. sanctions over the North's nuclear tests, although education is not subject to the sanctions.

The two nations have embassies in each other's capital.

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