A multimillion-dollar luxury ski resort is set to open in North Korea this week.
The Masik Pass has been built under the orders of the country's leader Kim Jong-un, supposedly in the hopes of boosting tourism and showing everyone the country is as civilised as the Western world.
However, concerns have been raised over the cost of the project in an isolated country where millions of people live in poverty.
The Masik Pass is supposedly part of a focus on boosting the economy through tourism, and, reports the Guardian, Kim has vowed the Masik will be a training centre so that North Korea can create its own world champion in a few years.
The country's skiing association says over 5,000 North Koreans know how to ski - just 0.02 per cents of the 24 million-strong population.
This has led critics to suggest the resort will become a "playground" for Kim Jong-un and his close inner circle.
Hundreds of workers, described as "soldier-builders", have been drafted in over 10 months to complete the gruelling project. According to the Guardian, workers are carrying out their daily tasks "at more than 200 per cent".
The Sun reports that "several have died during construction work" due to the harsh mountain conditions and exhausting daily routine.
North Korean propaganda even stands at the base of a ski slope at the ski slope. The sign (pictured above) reads, from left to right: "Full attack. March Forward. Let's Absolutely Finish Building Masik Pass Ski Resort Within This Year By Launching A Full Aggressive War and Full Battle."
But, according to the resort, their hard work is "proof of the great love of the great leader".
The resort is set to open on 10 October, even though it will not be finished and has hit a problem with ski lifts.
Austrian, Swiss and French ski-lift manufacturers have reportedly will not provide cable car equipment and lifts to the country following new UN sanctions barring the sale of luxury goods to North Korea.
But, according to The Sun, Kim Tae Yong, secretary-general of North Korea's ski association, said it would not be a problem.
"We can make nuclear weapons and rockets," he said. "We can build a ski lift."
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