Satellite images show Kim Jong Un's water-slide yacht in action, as North Korea battles famine, Covid-19
- Satellite images caught the movements of Kim Jong Un's luxury yacht, suggesting he is partying.
- North Korea is undergoing food shortages and struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The amusement-park-themed yacht can be a good indicator of his whereabouts, NK News reported.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Kim Jong Un's 61-metre luxury yacht has been spotted moving towards his private compound, suggesting he or his associates are ready to party during North Korea's struggles with famine and Covid-19.
Satellite-imaging company Planet Labs captured pictures of the yacht, as well as a second 61-metre pool yacht, moored at the private beach near Kim's palace at Wonsan on July 12. The images were published by the South-Korea based outlet NK News, which has marked up the images on its website. The weather around Wonsan in July is warm, and ideal for swimming.
Kim Jong Un may be in or planning a trip to North Korea's central Wonsan bay.
Recent satellite imagery showed the DPRK leader's luxury yacht being towed to his private mansion in the region â€” a rare appearance away from its typical parking spot.https://t.co/WvugvBIje3 — NK NEWS (@nknewsorg) May 26, 2021
The larger of the yachts is constructed as a floating amusement park, with a double waterslide, an Olympic-sized pool and a multi-story lounge, according to the outlet.
It is unclear who is using the luxury boats, which have been lent to friends and family in the past.
Their movements coincide with days the leader did not make public appearances and can be a reasonably reliable indicator of his movements, according to NK News.
In April last year, during an extensive withdrawal from public view, Kim's 200-ft yacht was spotted moving around the same spot.
Less than a month ago, Kim made a rare announcement saying there was a "tense" situation with North Korea's food supply, which he attributed to typhoons in the last year. Food prices have skyrocketed, prompting one UN official to propose lifting sanctions in order to prevent mass starvation, Reuters reported.The country also recently hinted at a Covid-19 surge, after Kim reshuffled his senior officials, blaming them for a "great crisis" in their response to the pandemic.North Korea does not release Covid-19 data, and has long claimed to be free of the virus, but reports from outside the country suggest there have been surges in the last year.The country has been sluggish in attempting to access vaccines, despite being entitled to two million doses through the UN's COVAX scheme, Voice of America News reported. US and South Korean officials said that it is plausible that Kim used the resort to shelter from the virus in May last year, Sky News reported. Kim is a heavy smoker, a high risk factor in complications for Covid-19.
Get the best of our site emailed to you every weekday.
Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.