Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 26 May (Sunday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the Masin Pass skiing grounds in Kangwo’n Province and inspected Korean People’s Army [KPA] Navy Unit #291. Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to the food factory of KPA Unit #534. Attending his visit to the construction of the ski park and inspection of the navy unit were Col. Gen. Son Chol Ju, Col. Gen. Jon Chang Bok, Lt. Gen. Pak Jong Chon and Lt. Gen. So Hong Chan.
Kim Jong Un’s first stop was the construction of a skiing grounds in Masin Pass in Kangwo’n Province. The park’s construction is being conducted by officers and service members of the KPA. Kim Jong Un was reported to be “greatly satisfied to learn that soldier-builders have constructed a skiing area on mountain ranges covering hundreds of thousands of square meters, including primary, intermediate and advanced courses with almost 110 000 meters in total length and 40-120 meters in width” and said “the skiing ground is located in the best place as it ensures a long period of skiing and it is easy to have access to it with the Pyongyang-Wonsan tourist motorway available nearby.” Kim Jong Un was briefed about the construction of the skiing grounds before going up to the park’s highest elevations. According to KCNA he said “it is nice to see it, but it would be more fantastic to watch the ground covered with snow” then “indicated tasks and ways for hastening the construction of the skiing ground” and “noted that it is the firm determination of the Party to build the skiing ground into a world class one.” Kim Jong Un instructed that the skiing grounds be completed in time for the start of winter in 2013.
KCNA reported that Kim Jong Un “gave instructions to properly build a drainage system to prevent the courses from being washed away by rain in the rainy season and plant turf of good species suitable for that area so as to keep the courses in good shape even after thaw.” Kim Jong Un also said, “it is necessary to build well not only rest places but first- aid stations at starting, middle and final points of the courses and establish an automatic cableway monitoring system for a real time watch so as to take measures to prevent accidents” and “underlined the need to preserve ecological environment and prevent pollution while building the skiing ground.” According to KCNA, he also “called for properly setting up a unit for operating the ground and scrupulously organizing its management from now while pushing ahead with the construction, and taking measures for the production of skis and other winter sports apparatuses” and “called on the relevant field to supply equipment and materials needed for construction in a responsible manner and pay deep attention to this work.”