North Korea wants to become a tourist destination

Friday, 13 October 2017, 07:29:06 AM. It can be hard to work out where to go on vacation – so many envy-inducing Instagrammable beaches to explore, so many ludicrously cheap flights to tropical destinations to tempt you. Bali? Tu…

It can be hard to work out where to go on vacation – so many envy-inducing Instagrammable beaches to explore, so many ludicrously cheap flights to tropical destinations to tempt you. Bali? Tulum? Mykonos?

Well, now there’s a new contender: Wonsan.

Wonsan, North Korea that is.

While the hermit kingdom’s seaside town has long been the country’s answer to Australia’s Gold Coast or California’s Venice, Kim Jong Un is now working on a billion-dollar scheme that attempts to transform the area into a mecca for international tourists. Reuters reports the despotic leader wants to build a “future temple to tourism” in the area and to create the 154-square-mile Wonsan Special Tourist Zone.

north-korea-wants-to-become-a-tourist-destination photo 1The lobby of the Masikryong ski resort near Wonsan.AFP/Getty Images

The goal is to attract one million tourists soon, with a five to ten million foreign visitors “in the foreseeable future.”

According to a North Korean brochure touting the Zone, on offer for the Western hordes (cough) when they arrive will be four mineral springs, 10 beaches, 140 historical relics, 680 tourist attractions and “more than 3.3 million tons of mud with therapeutic properties for neuralgia and colitis.”

Does Positano, Italy offer that? Nope.

Per Reuters, Jong Un is on the hunt for investment in the region (despite those pesky sanctions making any international injection of funds illegal) to help fund a $9.3 million department store, a $157 million golf course and a $252 million redevelopment of the city center which would include an indoor water park and an aquarium.

north-korea-wants-to-become-a-tourist-destination photo 2LightRocket via Getty Images

Jong Un’s regime has already built an international airport (though given the extensive sanctions the country faces, no actual international flights land there) along with a nearby ski field and the Kumgang Mountain Resort.

Wonsan has something else that say, Bali, doesn’t — a nearby long range missile testing facility. Fun!

According to reports, Jong Un has tested more than 40 rockets from the area since tensions with the West escalated earlier this year.

So, who’s in?

north-korea-wants-to-become-a-tourist-destination photo 3Members of a “ski camp” at the Masikryong ski resort.AFP/Getty Images

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Article North Korea wants to become a tourist destination compiled by nypost.com