Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

SATELLITE images show beach chairs have appeared at North Korea’s beach resort ahead of summer holidays.

The Wonsan-Kalma Coastal Tourist area might finally swing its doors open this holiday season after years of stalled construction.

PLANET LABSBeach chairs popped up at Kim’s resort[/caption]

PLANET LABSThe before and after reveal the progress of the lush project[/caption]

ReutersThe Wonsan resort is reportedly 90 per cent complete[/caption]

ReutersThe despot hit the accelerator on the project after it was halted by Covid[/caption]

The tourist area was understood to be filled with faeces and unfinished buildings back in December.

But the new before-and-after images uncovered a significant progress at the Wonsan resort, fuelling rumours that it will soon welcome visitors.

Satellite pictures have revealed an extensive road paving and addition of beach chairs at the plush attraction.

The recent snaps show finished parking lots and the near-complete turtle-shaped arena which suggest that Kim’s lush project might be approaching its final stages.

Although the exact opening date hasn’t been confirmed yet, the North Korean despot reportedly wanted the resort up and running this year.

The sprawling complex boasts 150 buildings which include high-rise hotels, private villas, shops, a water park and an airfield.

Kim ordered the Benidorm-style beach resort to be constructed in 2017 after his officials were “amazed” by a research trip to Spain‘s Costa Blanca.

Kim hit the accelerator on the project after Covid put the mockers on the previous 2019 completion deadline.

North Korea was forced to implement some of the most aggressive quarantine policies in the world and its borders closed.

It meant Kim struggled to secure funding and materials needed for the project.

North Korea’s Ministry of External Economic Relations is now working to strike up foreign investments – likely China and Russia – and import materials needed.

Leading North Korea expert Michael Madden told The Sun Kim would be eager to see Wonsan resort open as he looks to line his pocket with foreign currency.

Mr Madden said: “These are long-term policy goals as Pyongyang is well aware that sanctions and continued WMD test activity preclude a glut of tourists and foreign direct investment – even from friendly countries like China and Russia.

“Part of this is to spin tourism away into more traditional areas like beach resorts, winter sports and hot springs. 

“Most tourism to the DPRK is about seeing the country and sites and learning about the culture and society in situ. 

“They have always done a brisk trade in Chinese visitors who want to see what the old Mao-era days were like in People’s Republic of China. 

“Moving away from that, they have tried to develop tourist sites in Wonsan as well as Hamhu’ng which is also on the east coast and is a bit north of Wonsan.”

The despot planned to improve his hermit state’s struggling economy by attracting overseas visitors.

Last December, North Korea touted its near-empty £21million ski resort to Russian tourists dodging Western sanctions.

Kim’s virtually deserted winter sports resort failed to attract large numbers of international tourists since its opening in 2013.

The despot was then believed to have hired a glamorous Russian influencer to promote the ghostly ski resort on her Instagram.

Russia and North Korea already have mechanisms in place that allow for easier and smoother currency exchange.

And in December, DPRK proposed new rail, sea and air routes between countries in a desperate attempt to boost tourism.

The Benidorm-style resort was meant to be ready by this holiday season

The zone will be complete with a water park, hotels and an airfield


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