DPRK blames countries for banning export of ski equipment

2013-08-30 13:25:25 GMT2013-08-30 21:25:25(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

PYONGYANG, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea on Friday accused some European countries of banning exports of equipment for a ski resort, the official KCNA news agency said in a commentary.

They are contending that the equipment belongs to "luxury goods" whose export to the DPRK is banned under the UN "sanctions," and even doubt that it is "unbelievable that ordinary people of the DPRK use ski resort on Masik Pass and ski is what only high-class people do," said the commentary.

"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," it said.

The "democratic countries" advocating "equality of all people," "defense of human rights" and "freedom" are resorting to criminal hostile act of violating the dignity of a sovereign state in a bid to deprive Koreans of their elementary right to enjoy a cultural life, it added.

The KCNA also quoted the special adviser to the Secretary General of the United Nations on Sports as saying that the resort is supposed to receive foreign tourists as well as South Korean tourists like Mt. Kumgang resort.

Media reports said the Swiss government had blocked a deal worth 7 million Swiss francs (7.6 million U.S. dollars) on exports of mechanical chair lifts and cable cars to Pyongyang.

The commentary said that Swiss people were fond of skiing despite poverty in the past centuries, arguing that "it is self-deluding to say that ski belongs to those high-class people."

The Masik Pass in the southeastern Kangwon Province, which includes a ski ground with an altitude of more than 1,360 meters above the sea level and a range of ski runs with a total length of 110 km, a hotel, heliport and cableway, is near completion.

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