Typical North Korean home goes on show in Seoul

SEOUL (REUTERS) - This middle class home offers a glimpse into life in North Korea, but it's actually on display in South Korea.

The apartment is part of a exhibition, which opened on Saturday (Sept 2) in Seoul and shows life in the capital of North Korea.

It's a replica of a home in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang where the property market is booming despite sanctions.

In North Korea, apartment units are increasingly-coveted status symbol.

Curious crowds thronged the show flat filled with custom-made furniture and North Korean products.

Interested visitors say they're surprised at how similar the apartment is to their own surroundings.

"I find it meaningful to see houses and interiors of Pyongyang in Seoul," said interior design student Lee Hyoung Jin. "I feel that life is the same everywhere and hope that South and North Korea can start communicating soon and begin a better relationship."

The exhibition at the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism comes amid heightened tension on the Korean peninsula after the North fired a missile that flew over Japan.

One North Korean defector who visited the exhibition said the apartment shows how insular the country is.

North Korean defector Choi Seong Guk, who had lived in Pyongyang, said, "It seems like a regular home of middle-class family. The colors of the furniture are the same and it is decorated with North Korean products. So I feel like I am in an apartment unit that belongs to a North Korean anti-Japanese guerrilla fighter family who doesn't like foreign products and shows off that they like their own goods."

The exhibition runs until Nov 5.