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CNN goes inside an upscale North Korean apartment

Updated 5:02 AM ET, Mon June 1, 2015
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CNN's Will Ripley was given rare access to an upscale area of Pyongyang near Kim Il Sung University, where he was allowed to see the inside of a faculty apartment. will ripley/cnn
This is the master bedroom of a faculty apartment near Kim Il Sung University. The unit has three bedrooms and houses a professor and his adult children. It is 200 square meters (about 2,150 square feet) -- large for an apartment in Pyongyang. will ripley/cnn
The apartment has modern electronics including a new flat screen television. will ripley/cnn
Every home in North Korea displays portraits of late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Housing is assigned by the government and is free. Those who want to move have to sign up to exchange spaces with other citizens. will ripley/cnn
The living room of the apartment has hardwood floors and crown molding. The professor who lives here says it is much nicer and bigger than the homes of his friends and family. will ripley/cnn
Books are neatly lined up above a desk in the study. There's a lamp for reading and a large padded chair. Above the desk hangs a portrait of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. will ripley/cnn
The kitchen features a double sink and brushed metal counter tops. Beyond the shelving, the dining area is full of natural light. will ripley/cnn
The kitchen is equipped with a Haier two-burner gas hob. Haier, based in Qingdao, China, is one of the world's biggest home appliance companies. will ripley/cnn
The outside of the faculty apartment tower is clean and modern. will ripley/cnn
Students bow before a statue of late leader Kim Jong Il, who graduated from the university named after his late father Kim Il Sung, the founder and Eternal President of North Korea. will ripley/cnn