Next Year’s Hot Ski Spot: North Korea

Kim Jong Un announces construction of massive ski resort

Forget the Swiss Alps and British Columbia. Next year’s hot new skiing destination is on the Korean peninsula, and we don’t mean the southern half.

No doubt taking his cues from The Active Times, North Korean powderhead-in-chief Kim Jong Un announced last week that his country is building a “world-class” ski resort.

According to a press release by North Korea’s official news agency—so take this how you will—“soldier-builders” are in the process of constructing 68 miles of “primary, intermediate and advanced courses” at Masik Pass in the mountains east of Pyongyang. The planned resort will have a hotel, heliport and cableway, and CNN reports it will be open to foreign tourists. Expect it to be booked solid with Vice contributors and former Chicago Bulls.

The decision to build a ski destination in an impoverished country that doesn’t do much skiing may have something to do with the fact that South Korea is hosting the Winter Olympics in 2018. The last time South Korea hosted the Olympics, in 1988, its northern neighbor boycotted in protest.

It has also been noted by several news outlets that Kim Jong Un studied for several years in Switzerland, where he may have picked up the skiing bug. (Man, when are they making that movie?)

He called on the military to finish the project by this coming winter, just in time to upstage the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Somebody’s got a chip on his shoulder.