For those of you who have shifted your attention from the slow grind of summer, filled with it's bombastic and unpredictable political climate, to the soon to fall white crack from which our winter addiction stems. You may have missed the recent headline by FOX News that would surprise most anyone, that “North Korea says it wants sports equipment, not missiles.”
Yes, you read that correctly.
Now sure, that’s not to say that Rocket Man, as President Trump so gracefully describes him, doesn’t still want to build missiles and “tame” our “mentally deranged US dotard” with “fire”. But for others in North Korea, the desire for the slopes is not lost.
FOX NewsNorth Korea complained in newly unearthed letters that U.S.-led sanctions were depriving it's starving, suffering populace of essential aid and materials -- such as ski equipment.
A diplomat from the Hermit Kingdom complained about athletes being unable to buy sporting gear in letters that argued for a reduction in sanctions, imploring sports federations to support North Korea with the plea: "sports materials can't help build missiles."
Reuters obtained the letters from a North Korean diplomat stationed in Geneva. The letters, sent to Switzerland based World Archery Federation and the International Ski Federation and Germany-based International Shooting Sport Federation, urged the three sporting federations to support the country’s request to purchase the sports equipment.
North Korea has had nine rounds of sanctions imposed on it by the United Nations Security Council since 2006 due to the unlawful testing of nuclear weapons and multiple launches of inter-continental missiles.
President Trump on Thursday ordered additional pressures, signing an executive order targeting North Korea’s trading partners and companies doing business with Pyongyang. Trump said the order specifically enhanced the Treasury Department’s authority to target those conducting significant trade with the regime, including giving the U.S. government the ability to sanction foreign banks.
Ri Hak Chol, the DPRK’s Ski Association president, wrote a letter to the International Olympic Committee complaining the federations would not provide the country with the needed sports materials. Chol blamed “stifling maneuvers and bulldozing coming from the U.S. which brandishes the stick of sanction against those who are not following it.”
“This association has sent several letters of purchase intention to more than 20 ski equipment production companies and sales agencies including [Atomic], Blizzard, Fischer, in June and July and made its effort to purchase the equipments,” the letter said. “But unfortunately, those ski equipment companies and sales agents rejected or have not responded to its request.”
Chol wrote the rogue regime requested “positive cooperation from the FIS to enable this association to purchase the required ski equipments in compliance with Olympic ideals and its mission to promote worldwide ski sports.”
The FIS and the IOC did not immediately reply to North Korea’s complaint.
Last week, Chang Ung, the DPRK’s IOC member, said February’s winter Olympic games, being held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, would not be affected by the crisis occurring on the Korean peninsula and said he hoped the country could send some athletes to perform in the games.
Ung said North Korean athletes may participate in short track speed skating, figure skating and maybe Nordic skiing.
Kim Jong-Un - Image BBC News
While my personal political views are not unknown on here, and may cause others to assume my take on a matter such as this, my want to spread the love for the outdoors, recreation, and skiing is not held back simply due to the actions of politicians and the faults of their, and our, fathers. A ski brake, edges, or the FKS dildo in the hands of the DPRK won’t keep me up at night. Keeping people up at night is Mad Dog’s job.
I know I have no authority or capability too, but in my opinion, let’s sell them some skis. Let’s give them a shot in the Olympics. The purchase may not be that great in the end, but any boost to the industry we love is a positive one.
Winter is coming, and North Korea wants to ski too.
For another interesting article regarding skiing in North Korea, go here.