An expansive North Korean beach resort has delayed its opening because of complications with international sanctions, it has been reported.
The Wonsan-Kalma Coastal Tourist Area, located on the eastern seaside strip of the country, was initially scheduled to open this April and become a centrepiece of the country’s budding tourism industry.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is thought to be attempting to boost the country’s economy through a well-considered tourism campaign after decades of secrecy and strict laws on visitors.
However, according to news outlet Japan Times, Jong Un is struggling to get the project over the line and analysts believe it is due to the international sanctions imposed over its nuclear weapons programs.
Despite wanting to finish construction this month, Jong Un has delayed the opening until this time next year and believes the extension gives builders time “to perfectly finish it so that our people would fully enjoy themselves in the impeccable tourist area from the sea-bathing season next year,” KCNA quoted Kim as saying.
“North Korea can complete the external construction of the hotels by itself but most of the finishing materials for the interior are imported,” Cho Han-bum, a senior researcher at the Korea Institute for National Unification, told AFP.
“The North Korean economy has hit a limit with the sanctions,” Cho added.