WONSAN, the DPRK, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Boarding an Air Koryo plane carrying more than 20 foreign journalists from Beijing to Wonsan city in the northeastern Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Tuesday, there is a sense of something different in the air.
The crew of the plane chartered by the DPRK airlines used the English language to broadcast boarding tips and travel safety precautions. Attendants talked with foreign journalists smoothly in Chinese and other languages. Newspapers and journals in Korean and Russian were provided.
The An-148 passenger plane carried journalists who will witness the dismantling of the DPRK's Punggye-ri nuclear test site. The accompanying officials express hope for more foreigners to ride Air Koryo and try its world-class services.
Landing at Wonsan Kalma Airport, the newly-built terminal building and elegant airport control tower are quite eye catching, and airport transit buses and luggage delivery operate in tune. Border quarantine and customs officers and other airport workers politely guide the journalists through the various procedures.
It is hard to believe that this DPRK domestic civil airport was recently transformed from a military airport.
According to Air Koryo officials, a new domestic route between Pyongyang and Wonsan will be opened next month for both local and foreign visitors.
The road linking the Wonsan airport to downtown Wonsan is broad and flat, along which tracks of the construction sites of tourism hotels, high apartment buildings and unique-looking villas could been seen.
A huge banner on a building under construction reads: "One More Miracle at Dawn", showing the brisk optimistism of residents here to catch up the level of construction seen in modern commericals districts in the capital Pyongyang.
The DPRK's official television, newspapers and news agency have frequently reported on the building progress of the Kalma Coast Tourism District, which has become a landmark project in the country's socialist economic development.
Officials of the PPRK Foreign Ministry said that after the infrastructure is laid down, Wonsan would become a tourism destination for international visitors as well as a "new business card" for the DPRK.
At the lobby of the hotel hosting the journalists, staff adroitly handle a coffee maker using coffee powder and fresh milk to make a cup of java on the spot and even a cappuccino. The hotel restaurant serves hamburgers, French fries, Italian pasta, pizza and various kinds of soft drinks and fruit juices.
In April, the Third Plenary Meeting of the Seventh Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) of the DPRK shifted the country's development strategy to a focus on creating a socialist economy.
The DPRK's top leader Kim Jong Un stressed the country should base its development on science and education in order to build a society that is self-reliant and modern.
Judging by the flurry of construction seen across town, so far the strategy appears to be paying off.