Kim opens new mountain resort to woo tourist dollars

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un opened a new mountain spa and ski resort that's intended for people to enjoy "high civilisation under socialism" in another example of the country using tourism exemptions in sanctions to build revenue for its broken e
PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un opened a new mountain spa and ski resort that's intended for people to enjoy "high civilisation under socialism" in another example of the country using tourism exemptions in sanctions to build revenue for its broken economy. Mr Kim cut the ribbon during the ceremonial opening of the Yangdok Hot Spring Cultural Recreation Centre last Saturday and praised his soldiers for creating a "miracle and perfect edifice" that serves the ruling party's efforts to guide people to modern civilisation, a state media report said. North Korea's state TV showed aerial footage of the resort, including its red-roofed hotels, hot spring spas, ski slope and horse-riding park. The resort, which the North began building last year, has been one of Mr Kim's major projects, along with another mountain resort recently completed in the town of Samjiyon and a summer resort being built in the coastal town of Wonsan.

Meanwhile, North Korea insulted US President Donald Trump again yesterday, calling him a "thoughtless and sneaky old man" after he tweeted that Mr Kim wouldn't want to abandon a special relationship between the two leaders and affect the American presidential election by resuming hostile acts. A senior North Korean official, former nuclear negotiator Kim Yong Chol, said in a statement that his country would not cave in to US pressure because it has nothing to lose and accused the Trump administration of attempting to buy time ahead of an end-of-year deadline set by Mr Kim Jong Un for Washington to salvage nuclear talks.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 10, 2019, with the headline Kim opens new mountain resort to woo tourist dollars. Subscribe