North Korea calls Swiss refusal to sell it ski lifts a ‘serious human rights abuse’
It’s a big year for North Korea—the 68th anniversary of the formation of the Korean Workers Party! Sure, 68 might seem a bit of a random number, but whatever—it’s been decided it’s a banner year and the country’s new dear leader Kim Jong Un has been presiding over a number of developments to modernize the country: Earlier this year they introduced a tablet device (that doesn’t connect to wifi or cell signal) and allowed Instagram photos to be taken for the first time (so long as you photograph sanctioned material, otherwise god help you.)
Anyway, to cap off the 68th anniversary celebration Kim Jong Un’s regime has been hard at work creating 2013’s piece de la resistance: Its very own ski resort!
There’s just one problem: Despite having developed technology to build medium-range warheads, North Korea still doesn’t have the technology to build ski lifts. And with international sanctions in place, it’s having one hell of a time buying them from anyone else.
The Washington Post reports that after first trying to buy ski lifts from France and Austria, North Korea offered $7.7 million to a company in Switzerland, but also got turned down there when the Swiss government blocked the deal.
Incensed at the denial of ski lifts, North Korea released an angry statement to Europe:
This is an intolerable mockery of the social system and the people of the DPRK and a serious human rights abuse that politicizes sports and discriminates against the Koreans.
Politicizes sports! Imagine! The horror!
North Korea’s complaint against the violation of international skiing ethics comes just months after defectors from North Korea revealed the atrocities inside the regime’s prisons, including ritual starvation, torture, and forcing mothers to kill their own children.
Kim Jong Un went to boarding school in Switzerland, and is reportedly almost as fond of skiing as he is of Dennis Rodman.
While WaPo points out that this ski lift sanction punishes the regime while not harming the North Korean people, who are probably too starved to worry much about carving sweet powder and pulling sick jumps, The Independent reports signs at the mountain’s construction site spur workers on with messages like: “Let’s Absolutely Finish Building Masik Pass Ski Resort Within This Year By Launching A Full Aggressive War and Full Battle.” It’s pretty terrifying to think what will happen to those workers if Kim Jong Un doesn’t get his ski lifts. Being on the receiving end of a tantrum from this overgrown baby has got to be among the worst fates one can meet.