DPRK gets new golf course

UPDATE:  The Kumgangsan Golf Course is located here (Wikimapia), though it is still under construction in these dated images.

ORIGINAL POST: The DPRK’s golf facilities are all easily recognizable from Google Earth:  There is the 18 hole course half-way between Pyongyang and Nampo; there is a smaller 9-hole course next to the Yangakdo Hotel; there is a driving range in the Sosan sports district; and there is even a three hole course east of town just south of the Ponghwa Barrage on the Taedong River (This area could be the Ponghwa Executive Apartments mentioned in Kim il Song’s North Korea).

According to Yonhap, the DPRK has successfully expanded their number of golf holes by 60%–increasing them from 30 to 48:

The “Kumgang Ananti Golf and Spa Resort,” including a 18-hole golf course, will open to the public Wednesday after nearly four years of construction, Emerson Pacific Group, a Seoul-based leisure firm, said.

Built on about 1.7 million square meters of land, the resort also has a spa, a hotel and restaurants that provide nice sea and mountain views, according to Kim Min-jeong, a publicity official of the company.

The golf course has already drawn media attention over its 929-meter number three hole, the world’s longest.

The facility, however, will be operated on a membership-only basis for the time being, Kim said, adding that the company plans to open the facility to individual tourists around next year.

Emerson Pacific is waiting for Pyongyang to give the company permission to employ about 200 North Koreans, including 60 caddies, at the resort, the official said.

Read the full story here:
Golf course to open at North Korea’s Mt. Geumgang
Yonhap
5/27/2008

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