North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's first "world-class" ski resort, Masik Pass, is expected to be partially open this Thursday to commemorate the 86th aniversary of the Korean Workers Party.
While progress floundered this summer due to torrential summer rains and a falling out with the Swiss over purchasing ski lifts and cable cars, the North Korean media claims that workers are completing their quotas with double efficency. When finished, the resort will have three lifts, a hotel for foreigners and a hotel for North Koreans.
"We can make nuclear weapons and rockets," Kim Tae Yong, the North Korena ski association chief, told the Associated Press. "We can build a ski lift."
But why build a luxury ski resort when less than one percent of the population skis?
AP journalists say it is an international case of keeping up with the Jonses: South Korea is set to host the 2018 Winter Olympics; the North Koreans have won two medals in speed skating at the Winter Olympics; and Yong has vowed that North Korea will have a skiing world champion of its own in just a few years.