North Korea: repressive regime, would-be nuclear power, and ... swanky tourist destination? Maybe so. Kim Jong Un yesterday issued a national appeal for a planned "world-class skiing ground" to be completed by the end of the year, AFP reports. The Masik Pass resort, located in the country's northeast, will include 70 miles of multi-level ski runs, plus cable cars, a hotel, and a heliport. Meanwhile, as AFP points out, most of the country struggles with malnourishment.
Kim called the military-built project a "gigantic patriotic work" in his address on the Korean Central News Agency. Some are speculating he's made it a priority because South Korea is hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics, and he either plans to try and co-host some of the events, or he simply wants to lure skiers over the border for some tourism dollars. All Kim said on the matter is that the resort will "provide the people and school youth and children with highly civilized and happy living conditions," whatever that means.