North Korea, a secretive state, has resumed construction on the Wonsan-Kalma Coastal Tourist Zone, a report in Newsweek said. The country hopes that the final product will give competition to Benidorm, a popular tourist destination in Spain equipped with beaches, skyscrapers and hotels. The construction has begun for the sprawling complex, which will have water parks, hotels and an airfield, the outlet further said. The resort is coming up near the port city of Wonsan, and one of Kim Jong-Un’s most heavily emphasised projects.
The project was originally scheduled for completion by 2018, but the pandemic delayed construction, the Newsweek report said.
Metro said that the thought of opening a tourist destination struck North Korean bureaucrats after they visited Spain’s Costa Blanca, which was said to have left them fascinated and impressed.
The outlet further said that, the site was inhabited by the country’s homeless population, locally called ‘kkotjebi’, in February this year. The site was reportedly covered in human waste and soot from fires, it cited a report from North Korean newspaper Daily NK.
However, Kim has big plans for the Wonsan-Kalma Coastal Tourist Zone and the construction could be completed by 2025.
However, it is unlikely that the tourist zone will see international travellers coming there due to travel bans and advisories over security threat. Before Covid-19, thousands of tourists visited North Korea, with the majority of them from China. But the country still has border restrictions in place, which could further restrict travel.
“The North Korean government continues to temporarily suspend all passenger routes into and out of North Korea. The British Embassy in Pyongyang is temporarily closed due to these restrictions. This means you cannot get consular support from within North Korea,” the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said on its website.