Published : 2013-12-15 20:02
Updated : 2013-12-15 20:03
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspected the country’s lavish new ski resort, the country’s official news media said Sunday, as all eyes are on the communist country following its shock execution of the leader’s once-powerful uncle last week.
Kim visited the Masik ski report and toured the resort facilities now near completion, the North’s Korean Central News Agency said in an English dispatch, monitored in Seoul.
“Noting he is deeply touched when thinking of the soldier-builders devotedly carrying out the order issued by the party despite the biting cold in December, he extended high appreciation to them,” the KCNA report said.
The visit marks the leader’s second reported public outing following the inspection of a military design institute since the trial and execution of Jang Song-thaek, the husband of Kim’s aunt Kim Kyong-hui.
Jang, previously the vice chairman at the country’s all-powerful National Defense Commission, was stripped of all his official titles, tried and executed for plotting to overthrow the regime last week.
The media and the international community are closely following the North in the wake of the unexpected event, interpreted to be aimed at solidifying the grip of the young, untested leader who took power after his father and late leader Kim Jong-il died of a sudden heart problem in 2011.
A day earlier, the KCNA said Kim visited the Designing Institute of the Korean People’s Army and stressed the importance of construction, marking his first reported public appearance since the execution of Jang on Dec. 12, which was made public the next day.
During Kim’s inspection of the Maski ski resort, located near the North’s east coast city of Wonsan, the leader touted the facilities, the KCNA said.
“He noted that the hotel is a model structure as it has been built as required by the party’s policy calling for designing and building anything according to its use and peculiarity, and the best one in the country,” the report said.
“He expressed the greatest satisfaction that all of them have been built by the efforts of Koreans and with indigenous technology and the facilities can be operated as they please,” according to the report.
Kim’s visit may be aimed at highlighting the leader’s achievement in constructing the ski resort, Kim’s major signature project, experts in Seoul said.
Hwang Pyong-so and Ma Won-chun, both vice department directors of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, accompanied Kim, the KCNA said. (Yonhap News)