NORTH KOREA (February 1, 2021)---after North Korea's Leader Kim Jong Un kicked off the "80-day" labor marathon--an apparent waterslide temporarily spawned at Kim’s mansion. Days after he publicly shed tears over the economic hardships that North Koreans face, DPRK leader Kim Jong Un appeared to retreat to his Wonsan mansion, where an apparent three-lane water slide was installed on his private beach last October.
Kim had just ordered citizens around the country to take part in a nationwide, 80-day labor marathon to complete key state projects, but a large, 40-meter-long (130 feet) object resembling an inflatable waterslide was temporarily installed between Oct. 15 and Oct. 17 amid warm weather at the Kim family’s exclusive Wonsan beachside mansion, according to high-resolution satellite imagery from Planet Labs.
Photo: These large inflatable slides are sold in slight variations by different companies from China, and often feature multi-color schemes that look similar to the apparent slide at Kim Jong Un’s mansion. | Images: © 2021 Planet Labs Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by permission (left). Weibo images (right). Edited by NK Pro.
The green-and-yellow colored object closely resembles slides with similar dimensions that also stand at up to 12 meters (40 feet) tall. These “triple water slides,” which consist of a main slide and two smaller slides on each side, are sold worldwide by a number of Chinese manufacturers and are marketed towards both adults and children.
Though it’s unclear whether Kim Jong Un was at his Wonsan mansion at the time, the North Korean leader was in the area along the east coast during that period in mid-October: After the Oct. 10 military parade and subsequent events in Pyongyang, he reportedly traveled to inspect natural disaster recovery efforts in the northeastern Komdok region on Oct. 13, and then just up the coast from Wonsan in Sinpho on Oct. 14.
The apparent waterslide showed up at Kim’s mansion between his appearances on the east coast and a visit to a cemetery near Pyongyang that was reported in state media on Oct. 22.
Kim Jong Un is known for constantly maintaining his luxurious lifestyle as leader of North Korea, both according to those who have partied with him — such as U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman — and according to evidence seen in satellite imagery.
In 2019, Kim built a brand-new beach villa compound in a secluded spot near Wonsan. Then just last year, Kim ordered the complete renovation of his extravagant, 80-meter-long (262 feet) pool boat, which boasts dual twisting waterslides and a multi-story interior. This came after he told ordinary North Koreans to prepare for more economic hardships at the start of 2020.
Kim’s multi-million-dollar luxury yachts also continued to see heavy usage near his east-coast mansion last year, according to Planet Labs high-resolution Skysat imagery. His Princess yachts and smaller yachts were seen attached to larger boats anchored at an island located just off the Wonsan-Kalma peninsula in late May, late June, and again in early July — periods when Kim Jong Un was out of the public eye for an extended time.