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Kim Jong-un inspects construction site for ski resort

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, Aug. 18 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspected the construction site for the country's project to build a world-class ski resort, the state-run news agency said Sunday.

The latest visit, reported by the (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), marks the leader's first inspection of the ski resort construction site in about 80 days.

Since taking office in December 2011, Kim has highlighted the need to prop up the welfare and the livelihoods of North Koreans. The ski report construction in the Masik mountain pass, located near the east coast city of Wonsan, is seen as part of such efforts by the young leader.

"He expressed his great satisfaction" over the progress made in the construction project, the KCNA report said, quoting the leader as saying, "A breakthrough has been made toward the successful construction of the ski resort."

Kim also noted that the Masik mountain pass has undergone a dramatic change since he last saw it on May 26, acknowledging "the world startling labor feats the builders have performed in the construction," the North Korean report said.

The leader then called on the builders to build "a world-class ski resort and provide the people, youth and children with more civilized and happier living conditions," the report also said.

The latest visit was reported after a group of South Korean aid organization staff said in early July the Maski resort construction site was hit by a landslide due to heavy rains that month.

The KCNA report quoted Kim as saying during the inspection that the ski resort site "was not affected by the heavy downpours in the latest rainy season."

In a separate report, the KCNA also said the leader visited a military unit.

During the inspection of the Korean People's Army's unit 3404, the leader appreciated the soldiers' combat readiness, the KCNA report said. The report showed Kim did not make hostile remarks or reference to possible wars with the South or the United States, usual signals of warnings the North Korean leader makes before joint South Korean-U.S. military drills.

The two allies will hold the computer-aided Ulchi Freedom Guardian joint war exercise from Aug. 19-30, mobilizing about 50,000 South Korean forces and approximately 30,000 U.S. servicemen, including some 3,000 from the U.S. and other bases in the Pacific region, the CFC said in a statement.

It is an annual joint exercise, designed to improve their defense posture against North Korea.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/yonhap-news-agency/130817/kim-jong-un-inspects-construction-site-ski-resort