North Korea's top ski resort Masikryong, uses child labour to help run it, according to reports on Friday. NBC journalist Bill Neely claimed that the resort depended on thousands of citizens to clear snowfall, allowing passage for visitors of the resort, most of whom were members of the communist country's political elite.

Men, women and children as young as 11 or 12 worked at the resort shovelling snow, instead of the snowploughs used by most ski resorts. Those working at the resort were largely thought to be civilians.

At the end of a chairlift ride, visitors of the resort can hire or buy all the necessary gear to enjoy a day on the slopes. However, the cost of doing so would equate to several months wages, even for relatively wealthy members of the North Korean public.

The ski resort, kept afloat by workers as part of the country's communist work-regime, is used by members of the country's elite.

Those generally consist of high-ranking members of the Workers Party, headed up by Kim Jong-Un.

The workers, described by NBC as "work gangs" consisted of thousands. However, with no houses in the near vicinity of the resort, there was no clue as to where they had come from to perform their duties.

The next winter Olympics, which take place in 2018, will be hosted by neighbouring country and bitter rivals South Korea at PyongChang – apparently a contentious issue in North Korea. However, unlike their neighbours, North Korea did not participate in the Sochi games in 2014.

Last year it was announced by the South Korean Government that Pyeongchang would be re-branded for the games, because of its name's similarity with Pyeongyang – the capital of North Korea. In order to prevent hapless tourists booking travel to the wrong place, officials revealed they would spell PyeongChang with an upper-case C to avoid confusion.