The European Alps, the Canadian Rockies, and Hokkaido, Japan, are great ski destinations with one thing in common — they’re far more likely to be on avid skiers’ radars for next season than North Korea.
In an attempt to attract international tourists, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has registered a trademark with the United Nations to cover the Masikryong hotel located next to its $35 million Masikryong luxury ski resort.
Located in the coastal town of Wonsan, east of Pyongyang, the Masikryong Hotel was built to house primarily Chinese tourists, who make up the bulk of North Korea’s foreign currency, according to the Korea Herald.
North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, is apparently quite the skier and believes that ski resorts are key to keeping international tourists coming to the nation after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ski resort features 10 runs served by a cable-car system imported from Austria. A photo in the Korea Herald showed Kim Jong-un riding a two-person chairlift at the resort back in 2013, suggesting that it has more than one way to reach the slopes. The paper also reported an ice skating rink on-site.
Don’t get lost in powder dreams just yet, however. Americans are advised by the US Department of State to avoid all travel to North Korea, “due to the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention of U.S. nationals,” according to the department’s current North Korean travel advisory. Should detention happen on your trip, it is very unlikely that US officials would be able to help. Any travelers to North Korea need special validation from the US government, and your craving for fresh powder likely won’t cut the mustard.