Kim Jong-un is proud of his ski area, but there is hardly any skiing

Kim Jong-un is proud of his ski area, but there is hardly any skiing
Kim Jong-un is proud of his ski area, but there is hardly any skiing

The Masik Pass region allowed tourists to go skiing for the first time since the corona pandemic in February. The area has several slopes, a luxury hotel, a rental office, restaurants. In short, everything you expect in a ski area. With the added advantage that there are hardly any people on the slopes. Too expensive for the North Koreans, banned for the rest of the world. Only some rich Russians come there. Selected by the regime.

So far this year, more than 200 Russian tourists have visited North Korea, spread over three trips in February and March. To ski. Under the supervision of secret agents.

North Korea is Russia’s largest supplier of weapons, shipping artillery shells, missiles and other equipment for the war. In return, Russia appears to be sending North Korea food, raw materials and parts for weapons production, bypassing international sanctions imposed on the country.

As a thank you to his friend Putin, Kim Jong-un opens the country’s borders to Russians, although this is not for everyone. Anyone who comes is first thoroughly screened and must have enough money to keep the local economy running.

Kim Jong-un visited his winter sports center in Masikpas last week and pretended it was the new Courchevel. But nothing is what it seems.

The group tours, first announced in January by several Russian tourist agencies, cost around 700 euros per person. That amount includes hotel stay, flights, meals and admission to the ski area. A ski pass, about 40 euros, must be paid separately.

The journey begins with a two-hour flight from the city of Vladivostok in the far east of Russia to Pyongyang, operated by the North Korean state airline Air Koryo.

New ski area

Upon arrival in Pyongyang, Russian tourists are first obliged to visit a number of squares and statues where they must greet. But that is not everything.

The ski slopes, a ski pass costs more than a month’s salary for the average Russian, are still in reasonable condition. But the accommodation is substandard. The chairlifts, for example, are “hand-me-downs” from Austria. And the slats are also outdated and no longer for sale with us.

Yet both countries seem to have big plans for the future. According to a report by the government of Primorsky Krai, a region in Russia’s far east on the border of the two countries, North Korea is also building a new major ski resort to attract Russian tourists. And Kim Jong-un sees it big as always. Seventeen hotels, 37 guest houses and 29 shops.

Recently, a doctored photo of North Korea’s leader was circulated showing him making a rapid descent.

Tags: Kim Jongun proud ski area skiing


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