North Korean ski resort abandoned by all but Russians dodging Western powers

A near-abandoned North Korean ski resort is hoping for a new lease of life with high-flying Russians sanctioned by the West are taking trips there.

With the £21million resort not quite taking off with members of the North Korean population, despot Kim Jong-un has taken to advertising the space to Russian tourists. They appear to have snapped up the offer and a delegation of Russians was spotted near Wonsan.

Their holiday options are much more limited following the invasion of Ukraine, which led to sanctions from Western powers on travel, finance and developing relationships between the countries.

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The DPRK has now been working with Russian experts as they hope to attract those bored of home and in need of some time on the ski slopes.

A regular train service between the Russian Far East city of Ussuriysk to North Korea's Tumangang and Rajin is apparently desired by Kim Jong-Un. Even their airlines are trying to arrange more flights to and from Russia on their Air Koryo network.

The airline conducts regular flights to Russia, currently just two a week, but continued the flights in August of this year, The Sun reported.

But Koryo Tours general manager Simon Cockerell is not convinced the plan to grab Russians for a ski slope package holiday in North Korea will work.

He said: "The Russian population in the Far East is small compared to China. These Primorsky Krai officials can promise anything and can offer to promote tourism. But in the end people choose their own holiday destinations."

The near-deserted winter sports resort has been open since 2013 and has failed to see any boom in custom over its decade of trading. Needing 5,000 skiers a day to break even at the £30-a-day resort has left leader Kim attempting to kickstart the area.

It was built by the military and costs begin to add up once you arrive at the resort, with £100 rented equipment, as well as access to the Mount Taehwa-adjacent restaurant through the use of second-hand ski lifts bought from China.

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