Construction at North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's first "world-class" ski resort, the Masik Pass Skiing Grounds, has been delayed by torrential rains this summer and the refusal of the Swiss government earlier this month to sell chairlifts to the North Koreans.
Seasonal rains dropped 16 inches of water on the ski area in one week, causing mudslides and flooding. The clear-cutting of trees for ski runs exacerbated the effects, blocking ditches and damaging portions of the resort.
The Swiss government banned the export of chairlifts to North Korea, after the government attempted to buy a $7.57 million chairlift system. “The Federal Council decided on July 3 to also put infrastructure for sports facilities on the list, especially when they have a more luxury character for resorts,” Ms. Avet of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs told Reuters. “These resorts have a luxury character, that is why it is not appropriate to export.”