But… Will They Come?

Songdowon International Children’s Camp is set on a beach front among a beautiful pine forest—in North Korea. It opened in the 60’s and was a destination for children from the communist countries at the time, many who often received a gift of their stay as a prize of some kind. North Korean children with particularly good grades are invited there, and are for the most part segregated from children from other countries. Recently however, the camp has been struggling to fill its beds. Every year the camp directors have to work much harder to convince foreign students to visit, thus putting at risk the camp’s mission to be international. They offer scholarship programs and reduced fees to entice students from Mongolia, Russia, Vietnam and even as far as Tanzania. Although the camp is cheap, it’s much more difficult to find people who want to attend. Students from China, who were frequent visitors in the past, now prefer to go to other destinations. The Supreme Leader, apparently aware of the problem, is planning to tackle it by transforming a nearby industrial port into a world class luxury resort. But… if they build it, will they come?