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View more articles by Dagyum Ji
Dagyum Ji is a senior NK News correspondent based in Seoul. She previously worked for Reuters TV.
The construction of a new ski resort on the outskirts of Kanggye city, Jagang Province, has been completed, multiple North Korean online outlets have reported.
The new ski resort is equipped with a course for beginners and snow tubers, as well as a slope for intermediate skiers, an aerial lift, and a “treatment room,” online outlets DPRK Today, Arirang-Meari, and the Ryugyong reported last week.
The reports come five months after news of the project first appeared in state media.
Media said the new resort “sufficiently meets the conditions for relaxation and physical education of workers and adolescents,” and that the site area is around 55,500 square meters.
The exact location of the new ski slopes is not given, but reports indicate it lies on Mount Jabuk near Kanggye city, close to the DPRK-China border.
While three outlets reported that the new ski resort is now complete, none provided imagery of the facilities.
Multiple media reports last July said the main ski slope would be 40m wide and 530m long, while the course for beginner skiers and snow tubers is 30m wide and 200m long.
The new facilities were built at “Masikryong Speed,” the report says, a reference to the rapid completion of the Masikryong Ski Resort.
Members of the youth shock brigade of Kanggye city and other builders dispatched by the province completed the building of retaining walls and paving “in a short period of less than one month,” Arirang-Meari and Ryugyong reported.
Media said the workers had “made a breakthrough that could finish the construction earlier than scheduled,” describing the construction projects as “the most difficult… task.”
Machines including bulldozers and large excavators were mobilized “for three months” as workers built ski slopes and processed tens of thousands of cubic meters of soil.
“Another center for mass sports activities which will contribute to making workers and youth students have strong physical strength… as the new ski resort was greatly established,” the media said.
Rough location of Mount Jabu, based on South Korean Ministry of Unification database
The Rodong Sinmun, an organ of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), reported in July that “restaurants, bedrooms, cultural and welfare facilities and parking lot” would be built at the resort.
Visitors will be able to reach the main ski slope via a lift, while others can use a moving walkway to reach the beginners’ skiing course and sledding slope.
The organ reported that the province had localized the manufacturing of both lifts.
If confirmed, the procurement of equipment is in stark contrast to that at the Masikryong Ski Resort, which used gondolas originally come from Austria and other skiing equipment and specialized machinery sourced from Europe and Canada.
The Rodong reported that project supervisors, shock brigade members, and builders arrived on the site in March last year.
The development of the resort appears to be one of Jagang Province’s most significant infrastructure projects.
The 91st anniversary of the formation of the Down-with-Imperialism Union (DIU) saw the area’s Provincial Committee of the WPK showcase around 20 structures under construction, including the new resort, the Rodong reported in October.
The Kanggye Ski Resort was listed as one of the province’s most “important constructions,” along with the remodeling of Samjiyon County, the Hungju Youth Power Station No.4, and the renovation of Jongbangsan Hotel.
The newspaper said people in the province had worked “with patriotic enthusiasm in the midst of the enemy’s anti-DPRK scheme.”
Edited by Oliver Hotham