by Jon Weisberg — April 11, 2017, originally published in Senior Skiing
Masikryong Ski Resort, North Korea
Baby-faced supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, built a luxury ski resort on Taehwa Peak, a 4,460′ mountain in Kangwon Province. It was constructed in 10 months by the Korean People’s Army. The cost is estimated at US $ 35+ million. It has nine blue and green runs, a ski school and a children’s snow park. The resort includes a 120-room hotel with pool, restaurants, and ice rink.
In 2013, a deal with a Swiss ski-lift manufacturer was blocked in response to one of North Korea’s nuke tests. At the time Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs characterized the resort as a “prestigious propaganda project for the [North Korean] regime.” In response, the North Korean Central News Agency issued the statement: “This is an intolerable mockery of the social system and the people of the DPRK and a serious human rights abuse that politicizes sports and discriminates against the Koreans.”
Finally, the resort opened with a 30-year-old Austrian-made gondola, retired from Ischgl. It was supplied by China.
Kim Jong-un is reported to have skied in Switzerland while attending boarding school there.