SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea has established secret towns with thousands of closely guarded residents whose sole mission is to develop nuclear weapons, a South Korean lawmaker said on Tuesday.

Up to 36,000 people, including the North’s top nuclear scientists and their families, live in the villages in complete isolation in the already reclusive country, Conservative Grand National Party lawmaker Song Young-sun said in a report.

“The areas where they reside are cut off from the outside — not only geographically but also in terms of contact and communication with outsiders,” Song’s report said.

“All actions are heavily monitored,” it said, adding that a special branch of the all-powerful ruling party was responsible for the top-secret project.

One of Song’s aides said the 20-page report was compiled by the lawmaker and her staff from information collected from various sources including government agencies.

Imagine living in a house “in complete isolation” in an “already reclusive country.”  I’ll bet that wreaks havoc on resale value.

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