Satellite images show Kim Jong Un’s waterslide yacht in action, as North Korea battles famine and COVID-19


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with military officers in this undated photo released by the North Korean Central News Agency on September 16, 2017. KCNA via Reuters

Kim Jong Un’s 260-foot luxury yacht was seen heading for his private resort as North Korea battles famine and COVID-19.

Satellite imagery company Planet Labs captured images of the yacht, along with a second 200-foot yacht, moored on the private beach near Kim’s Palace in Wonsan on July 12.

The images were published by South Korean media NK News, who tagged the images on their website. The weather around Wonsan in July is warm and the temperature on Tuesday was 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

A May tweet about the yacht’s movements included an image of the yacht.

The larger of the yachts is built like a floating amusement park, with a double waterslide, an Olympic-size swimming pool and a multi-story lounge, the store reported.

Satellite image of Kim Jong-Un luxury resort in Wonsan, North Korea from 2021

Satellite image of Kim Jong Un luxury resort in Wonsan, North Korea, from 2021. Google maps

It is not known who uses the luxury boats, which have been loaned to friends and family in the past.

The movements of the yachts coincide with days when the leader did not make public appearances and can be a reasonably reliable indicator of his movements, NK News reported.

In April of last year, during a vast retreat from public view, Kim’s 200-foot yacht was spotted move the same place.

Less than a month ago, Kim made a rare announcement. He said there was a “tense” situation with North Korea’s food supply, which he attributed to typhoons last year. Food prices have skyrocketed, prompting a UN official to propose lifting of sanctions to prevent massive famine, Reuters reported.

The country also recently hinted at a wave of COVID-19, after Kim reshuffled his senior officials, accusing them of a “great crisis” in their response to the pandemic.

North Korea does not release COVID-19 data, and has long been said to be virus-free, but reports from outside the country suggest that there have been flare-ups in the past year.

The country has been slow in trying to access vaccines, despite being entitled to 2 million doses through the UN COVAX program, Voice of America News reported.

US and South Korean officials said it was plausible that Kim used the complex to protect himself from the virus in May last year, Sky News reported.

Kim is a Heavy smoker, a high risk factor for complications for COVID-19.

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