I know it might not directly be related to politics, but I wonder if it has any significant political meaning? Out of curiousity, I was looking on many cities in North Korea using Google Maps, and I noticed many blue roofs. Any ideas why? Are they military facilities? Living quarters for military and officials?

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    Big discussion here: reddit.com/r/korea/comments/160w7n/… My guess: NK has limited choices of suppliers for materials. I'd guess that the primary roofing product used there just happens to be blue. I don't think there's any political connotations here.
    – user1530
    Mar 27, 2015 at 3:22
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    I'm surprised we can see North Korea on Google at all.
    – Bregalad
    Mar 27, 2015 at 8:16
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    @Bregalad You can make Google see North Korea, but you can't make North Korea see Google. :)
    – bytebuster
    Mar 30, 2015 at 11:46
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    @Bregalad, what are they going to do to stop Google? They haven't given them anything that they can threaten to take away. Mar 31, 2015 at 12:37
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not about politics Aug 24, 2017 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


I'm no expert on Korean culture, but this appears to have been asked many places on the internet already.

Blue tiles appear to be status symbol historically in Korean culture. Insofar as someone can afford blue tiles, they must be wealthy.

This imagery is also present in South Korea; their head of state lives in "the Blue House" which also has these blue tiles. Image from wikimedia: enter image description here

According to this post, during the 1970's North Korea's government had a modernization effort. As part of this, the government mass purchased construction supplies to be used across the country. It's possible that many of these buildings were constructed at this time and in the same style.

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