The Pyongyang skyline is rising — and not just with the trophy structures that represent the North Korean state. Despite its political and economic isolation, the capital is in the midst of a building boom.

In a comparison of photos taken by Reuters this week and on a visit to Pyongyang last October, several new high-rises of 20 or more stories have appeared in the capital, some appearing near completion.

The construction, mostly of what look to be apartments, is despite tightened U.N. sanctions against isolated North Korea for pursuing nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.