independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Kim takes to the slopes in New Year ski stunt

Kim at North Korean resort.

Kim Jong-un, the ruler of North Korea, has spent New Year's Eve inspecting his country's first ski resort -- and declared that the infrastructure was "impeccable".

The baby-faced dictator took a test ride on a ski lift at the Masik Pass Ski Resort, which he said during a visit two weeks ago was "at the centre of the world's attention".

Opening the country's first ski resort was a priority for Swiss-educated Mr Kim, who had ordered that the resort be "world class".

Despite the brutal poverty in which many of his citizens live, Mr Kim noted "with great satisfaction" that everything was "impeccable" and gave instructions to serve the people well so that visitors may "keenly feel the loving care of the party".

PROPAGANDA

The Masik Pass Ski Resort made headlines in August when Switzerland blocked a e5.5m sale of ski lifts to Pyongyang, calling it a "propaganda project" for the impoverished Stalinist regime.

Featuring 70 miles of multilevel ski runs, a hotel, heliport and cable cars, the resort has been heavily promoted since Mr Kim visited it in June and called for construction to be completed by the end of the year.

The young leader has shown a fondness for expensive, high-profile leisure projects in and around the showpiece capital Pyongyang including a massive new water park, an amusement park and a luxury horse riding club.

The Munsu Water Park in Pyongyang opened in October to much fanfare, with the 109,000-square metre venue sporting dozens of indoor and outdoor pools, water slides and saunas.

Mr Kim in September also watched films at a new "4D" movie theatre built in the newly-renovated Rungna People's amusement park, state media reported earlier in the year.

He was photographed riding a roller coaster in the Rungna amusement park in Pyongyang when it reopened in July 2012. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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