Kim-Jong-Un-Lucky! No ski lift for North Korea's elite.
North Korea isn't exactly top of the list of our favourite holiday destinations, in fact I'd wager it's bottom of the list. Kim Jong-un & his government are determined to make more of the country's tourism facilities if only to keep up with the Jones' and for the benefit of the North Korean elite who are known to enjoy the finer things in life.
With South Korea hosting the Winter Olympics in 2018, it seems the ambitions of the Jong-un regime have turned to skiing.
For some time now, the North Korean ski resort of Masik has been developing, often held up as another example of North Korea's modernity and receiving state visits. Naturally the ski resort heavy hardware is best bought from the worlds' experts and this is where the resort and the plans of the regime have hit a major snag.
The latest in a line of governments to do so, Switzerland has just blocked a deal in which North Korea was to obtain Swiss made ski lifts. The trade sanctions may not have had skiing in mind when they were applied to North Korea but the blockade certainly applies. Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs were duly sceptical about the project calling the resort a "prestigious propaganda project for the regime" and saying that "it is inconceivable that this resort will be used by the general public".
French & Austrian lifts are no more likely to fly off the shelves with manufacturers happy to turn down the deals on political grounds.
We can sympathise with Kim Jong-un's desire to ski, but it seems his political stance is going to make it hard for him and his buddies to get a lift.
Will they be walking up? Sadly we're more likely to see them heli-skiing instead.