Photo/IllutrationNorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un, far left, inspects construction at the Kalma Coastal Tourist Area in Wonsan, North Korea. This photo was distributed on Aug. 17 by the Korean Central News Agency. (Provided by Korea News Service)

SEOUL--North Korean leader Kim Jong Un got the ball rolling in his reported birthplace, as his nation's first soccer-exclusive stadium is being built in Wonsan.

Construction of the stadium, which Kim Jong Un gave the direct order for, has already begun, according to Kim Kyung-sung, head director of the South and North Korea Sports Exchange Association, based in Seoul. The association director visited North Korea in August.

Because of its ties to the North Korean leader, Wonsan is also the site for construction of an international airport and resort complex. The city on the east coast of North Korea faces the Sea of Japan.

Kim Kyung-sung said the stadium would be the first designed specifically for soccer to be constructed in North Korea. With a planned completion date by March 2019, the stadium would hold between 15,000 and 20,000 spectators.

The debut for the stadium could come at an international goodwill tournament being planned for May 2019.

Kim Jong Un has emphasized sports administration as one way to strengthen his control over the nation. As a step in that direction, he established the State Physical Culture and Sports Guidance Commission in November 2012.

Since taking over from his father, Kim Jong Un has also pushed construction of the Kalma Airport in Wonsan along with the Kalma Coastal Tourist Area.