08/10/2013 09:37 BST | Updated 08/12/2013 05:12 GMT

North Korea Accuses Switzerland Of Serious Human Rights Abuse

In this Friday Sept. 20, 2013 photo, propaganda signs stand at the top of a ski slope overlooking a building project to construct a ski resort at North Korea's Masik Pass. The complex of ski runs, resort chalets and sleigh rides in the secluded depths of North Korea?s east coast will formally open Thursday, Oct. 10, the 68th anniversary of the Korean Workers Party, though as the deadline approached the two main hotels appeared to be little more than shells, potholes filled the access roads and foundations were still being dug for secondary buildings. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

North Korea, that utopian hub of equality and freedom, has blasted Switzerland over - of all things - its production of ski lifts.

More than a few eyebrows have been raised after the country, long attributed as being one of the world's worst human rights abuser, got in a human rights row over a business deal with a Swiss company.

In a questionable effort to boost tourism, the North has been building a ski resort among the squalid homes of its impoverished citizens.

Masik Pass, a complex of slopes, luxury chalets and sleigh rides, is scheduled to be unveiled on October 10, to coincide with the 68th anniversary of the formation of the Korean Workers' Party.

However, the project has hit a major snag because the country is unable to manufacture its own ski lifts.

north korea

A ski slope under construction at North Korea's Masik Pass

The North offered millions to a Swiss company to make them but because of international sanctions that make it illegal to sell luxury goods to the North, the Swiss government blocked the deal.

Unsurprisingly, North Korea responded through its official state outlet with its typically flamboyant rhetoric.

"This is an intolerable mockery of the social system and the people of the DPRK and a serious human rights abuse that politicises sports and discriminates against the Koreans," it said.

The "democratic countries" advocating "equality of all people," "defense of human rights" and "freedom" are resorting to criminal hostile act of violating the dignity of a sovereign state in a bid to deprive Koreans of their elementary right to enjoy a cultural life, it added.

Leader Kim Jong Un called the move "a pity," but insisted his country will have three functioning lifts this year.

"We can make nuclear weapons and rockets," he said. "We can build a ski lift," NBC news reported.

However, it's unlikely the resort will be ready in time, with Associated Press reporting last month that the two hotels on site are empty shells, while potholes filled the access round and foundations were still being dug for secondary buildings.

Inside North Korea