North Korea is reportedly using Canadian and European equipment at a newly opened luxurious ski resort, an indication that the reclusive nation has likely skirted the United Nations sanction that bans the transfer of luxury goods to the country.
A day-pass ticket for the lavish ski resort, which appears to have been recently opened, costs around €25 ($34), a revelation that is likely to raise another round of suspicion from the UN that precluded the nation from importing any luxury goods in the wake of last year's underground nuclear test, which was unanimously condemned by the international community.
According to a report by the Washington-based Radio Free Asia (RFA), Young Pioneer Tours, a tourism agency specializing in North Korea, says the €25 include entrance fee, lift rides and rental of the equipment. But the question remains that where did the equipment come from in the first place.
On 7 March 2013, the UN Security Council had passed New Sanctions on North Korea. Among many other things, the sanction banned export of certain services and luxury goods from any country around the globe to North Korea. The sanction also led to a freeze on funds and economic resources, and also banned a list of other goods and technology.
South Korea's Yonhap News agency, citing an RFA report, said that the new ski resort is expected to attract as much as 5,000 daily visitors when it becomes fully operational. North Korea will rake in at least $60 million annually from the project, which will be a big revenue source for the highly cash-strapped and impoverished communist nation.
The resort, now identified as 'Masik Pass ski resort', is located near the North's east coast city of Wonsan and was built on the personal initiative of Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader of North Korea. The controversial leader is believed to have enjoyed skiing from his school days in Switzerland in the 1990s. The country reportedly opened the resort before New Year.