North Korea ski lift: Switzerland blocks Kim Jong-un deal

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un tours the construction site of the planned Masik ski resort with an entourage of military leaders Kim Jong-un tours the construction site of the planned Masik ski resort

Related Stories

Switzerland has blocked a deal to sell ski lifts to North Korea in the latest setback for leader Kim Jong-un's pet ski resort project.

The Swiss government cited expanded sanctions on luxury exports to North Korea.

Heavy rains and landslides have already delayed the project, viewed as a response to South Korea hosting the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

Kim Jong-un has ordered the army to complete the resort by year's end.

The North Korean leader has repeatedly visited the Masik ski resort site and promoted it as an attempt to enhance the lifestyle of the nation's citizens.

But Switzerland's State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) labelled the resort a "prestigious propaganda project for the regime".

"It is inconceivable that this resort will be used by the general public," Seco spokeswoman Marie Avet said.

It is thought Kim Jong-un learned to ski in Bern, where he attended secondary school without revealing his true identity.

The ski lift deal with Swiss company Bartholet Maschinenbau, valued at more than $7m (£4.46m; 5.2m euros), is reportedly the third to fall through due to sanctions.

Austrian and French manufacturers also turned down deals, citing political reasons.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Asia stories


Features & Analysis

  • Cerro RicoSatanic mines

    Devil worship in the tunnels of the man-eating mountain

  • Nefertiti MenoeWar of words

    The woman who sparked a row over 'speaking white'

  • Oil pumpPump change

    What would ending the US oil export ban do to petrol prices?

  • Brazilian Scene, Ceara, in 1893Sir Snapshot

    19th Century Brazil seen through the eyes of an Englishman

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • SailingGame on

    BBC Capital discovers why certain sports seem to have a special appeal for those with deep pockets


  • European Union's anti-terrorism chief Gilles de KerchoveHARDtalk Watch

    Anti-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove on the threat from returning Islamic State fighters

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.