- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 23, 2018

NBC News anchor Lester Holt is facing backlash on social media after he said he and his crew were “treated with respect” by North Korean officials during their trip to the Masikryong Ski Resort in the totalitarian country.

Mr. Holt was reporting Monday from the ski slopes where athletes from North Korea and South Korea will train for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. NBC News cameras showed dozens of colorful and seemingly cheerful North Koreans enjoying the “bunny slope” as Mr. Holt described his crew’s experience traveling to the Hermit Kingdom from Beijing.

“This is the bunny slope at a very modern ski resort here in North Korea,” Mr. Holt said. “We’re here because some of the athletes from the South and North, based on this new alliance, will be doing some of their training here. It’s been announced the North Koreans will field 22 athletes in the upcoming Winter Games in South Korea. That’s fueling some sense of hope and optimism of cooperation in other ways between the two countries.”

“We arrived in North Korea on Saturday, we flew the North Korean state airline,” Mr. Holt continued. “It’s about an hour and a half flight from Beijing, they even make an announcement in flight when you eventually cross the border into North Korea. We quickly passed through immigrations, went through a very lengthy and very detailed customs inspection of not only our equipment but our personal items down to the novels we were reading, even in one case, a toothbrush of our crew members.

“But we have been treated with respect here,” he added. “We had been invited and are guests of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We stayed in a guest house outside Pyongyang last night and then made our way to this ski resort to get a look at a part of North Korea that most Americans don’t see and certainly a part they would like us to see.”

The Masikryong Ski Resort, built by North Korean soldiers and civilians in just 10 months, is a pet project by dictator Kim Jong-un to create the illusion of wealth and prestige in the impoverished nation. NBC News reported last January that men, women and children — some as young as 11 and 12 — are tasked with shoveling snow at the luxury resort where trucks and snowplows are virtually nonexistent.

Mr. Holt was accused of peddling regime propaganda.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide