Seoul’s Unification Ministry wants to meet with the North to discuss the Mount Kumgang resort issue. File photo/AP
South Korean has offered to send a delegation to check on South Korean-built facilities at a long-stalled joint tourist resort in North Korea, Seoul said on Wednesday, as the North is pushing to tear them down.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently ordered the destruction of South Korean-made hotels and other facilities at the North’s Diamond Mountain resort, saying they appear “shabby” and “unpleasant-looking.”
Seoul’s Unification Ministry sent a message on Tuesday proposing a delegation dispatch to conduct safety checks on those facilities, but ministry spokesman Lee Sang-min said North Korea hasn’t responded. He said the dates for a delegation trip to the mountain could be determined through consultations with North Korea.
South Korea earlier proposed face-to-face talks on the issue. North Korea has rejected that and insisted on document exchanges.
South Korean-run tours to the mountain resort, once a symbol of inter-Korean reconciliation projects, was halted in 2008 when a North Korean soldier fatally shot a South Korean tourist who the North says entered a restricted area. The tours had been a source of hard currency for the impoverished country.
The latest development on the mountain tours comes amid a standstill in a US-led diplomacy aimed at depriving North Korea of its nuclear weapons. North Korea has earlier called for the tours’ restart, but South Korea couldn’t do so while international sanctions remain in place over the North’s nuclear program.
South Korea proposed talks with North Korea on how to handle the North’s Mt Kumgang resort, once a rare example of cooperation between the Koreas, which Pyongyang wants
North Korea said on Friday it had sent South Korea an “ultimatum” about its Mt Kumgang tourist resort, saying it will unilaterally remove South Korea’s facilities there
North Korea won’t send its women’s soccer team to a regional competition set to take place in South Korea in December. The East Asian Football Federation said on Wednesday that North Korea informed it in mid-September that it won’t take part
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