North Korea touts upscale ski resort after H-bomb test

Pyongyang featured a resort visitor who expressed "joy and pride" in the wake of the country's claimed fourth nuclear test.
By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |   Jan. 14, 2016 at 1:14 PM
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SEOUL, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- North Korea state media has been extolling its claimed hydrogen bomb test, but not without turning attention to its economy and relatively new infrastructure that includes a posh ski resort.

The Masikryong Ski Resort, a pet project of Kim Jong Un, was in the spotlight Sunday, when KCNA featured a "volunteer" at the resort who said the destination is growing in popularity.

"Compared to last year we have more visitors," said Jo Sol Lim. "Organizations and enterprises come in groups, as well as tourists."

Jo said the resort could not keep up with the demand for ski attire and equipment in the previous season, and that Masikryong was well prepared this year. An abundance of snow has led to a good start to the season, Jo added.

KCNA also interviewed a North Korean visitor who said he welcomed the news of Pyongyang's nuclear test, Yonhap reported.

"I've heard surprising news at this resort," he said. "I cannot hide my joy and pride over the thought that my country has joined the ranks of a nuclear state that even possesses a hydrogen bomb."

North Korea previously has said the development of its first thermonuclear weapon was a step to transforming the state into an "economic powerhouse."

The ski resort is one of several high-profile North Korea projects that aim to show Kim's accomplishments in the rejuvenation of North Korea's economy.

But it is unlikely the resort, like North Korea's golf course and horse-riding stable, is accessible to the vast majority of North Korea's population, who are impoverished.

The average monthly income of a North Korean is $1-2, an indicator wealth distribution is heavily skewed toward the elite

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