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JH Ahn was an NK News contributor based in Seoul. He previously worked as an interpreter for United States Forces Korea.
Construction is allegedly underway on the Kanggye Ski Resort, a new facility located near Kanggye City in Chagang Province, Arirang-Meari, a North Korean internet news outlet, reported on Friday.
“The new ski resort under construction is another happiness that the people of Chagang Province will embrace,” Arirang-Maeri said.
According to the report, journalists from the outlet recently visited the construction site, located in the country’s north roughly 50 km from the Chinese border.
Moon Chang Sik, chief of the site, told reporters that Kim Jong Un had ordered the construction, that the land the facility uses is around 50,000 square meters, and that it is reportedly equipped with two slopes, a pavilion, service centers, and a parking lot.
Location of the planned resort
One slope will be intended for use by professional skiers and adults familiar with skiing, while another, described as an elementary slope, will be used by those who use sleds or are entry level in skiing.
Tourists will be able to enjoy a view of the area from a pavilion built by the mountainside, and the resort will also produce artificial snow when natural snow is scarce.
“Visitors can use the ‘dragging rope’ to go to the top of the basic slope that is 530 meters long,” Moon told Arirang-Maeri, likely referring to a surface lift system.
“To go to the top of the elementary slope or sled slope, one has to use the ‘horizontal lift,’” said Moon, likely referring to a chairlift system.
Progress on the resort is likely still in its early stages: Arirang-Maeri did not provide any photos, and the latest imagery of the area from satellite shows no visible signs of progress.
Another North Korean outlet, DPRK Today, published a photo of the site earlier in the week, but progress appears to have not yet begun.
NK News reported in November 2015 that expansion appeared to be underway at the resort.
Edited by Oliver Hotham