North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, has opened a large-scale hot spring and spa resort – called Yangdok County Hot Spring Cultural Recreation Center – in a bid to drive tourism into the country.
The resort is home to indoor and outdoor hot-spring bathing, and multi-functional sports and cultural facilities. It also offers skiing and horse-riding.
Kim says: “It’s a very happy event to provide the new hot spring culture to the people, but it’s also pleasing to find that soldiers of the People’s Army created such civilisation with their own hands. It’s absolutely perfect.”
The Yangdok centre is the second mountain spa resort unveiled by Kim, the first is located in Samjiyon and was hailed by Kim as the “epitome of modern civilisation”. The state is also developing a coastal resort in Wonsan.
These projects come as a result of the economy being constricted by UN sanctions following tensions with foreign governments relating to North Korea’s nuclear weapons policy and human rights breaches. This has led the government to focus on inbound tourism opportunities appealing to its Chinese and South Korean neighbours.