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North Korea says first public ski resort ready for business

Dec. 31, 2013 at 1:51 PM

PYONGYANG, North Korea, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- North Korea said Tuesday construction has been completed on its first public ski resort, about a 2 1/2 hour drive from the nation's capital.

The resort, in Masik Pass, had been ordered about a year ago by leader Kim Jong Un as a sign of the country's modernization drive, Kyodo News reported.

During a recent inspection, Kim told officials to open the resort "as soon as possible so that people can fully enjoy skiing," the state-run Korean Central News Agency said.

The resort includes a hotel, restaurant and lift.

North Korea has been subject to U.N. Security Council sanctions for several years, so it is unknown how Pyongyang was able to buy ski lift equipment. In August, North Korea denounced countries it said were blocking shipment of equipment needed to build the lift.

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