SEOUL — The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) sent a notice to the Republic of Korea offering to discuss the removal of facilities in the DPRK’s scenic resort of Mount Kumgang, ROK’s unification ministry said Friday.
The DPRK delivered the notice earlier in the day to the unification ministry and Hyundai Group, which participated in the inter-Korean tour project, saying the DPRK would build and launch its own tour project in Mount Kumgang.
Pyongyang called on Seoul to remove ROK-constructed facilities in the mountain resort on an agreed-upon date, noting detailed issues could be discussed through the exchange of letters.
In response, the ROK ministry said the government would sufficiently review the conditions and environment such as international situations, inter-Korean consultations, and the forming of consensus domestically, while protecting the people’s rights to property and considering the meaning of the inter-Korean tour project.
Sufficiently reviewing the changed environment, ROK would draw up creative solutions to the Mount Kumgang tour project, the ministry noted.
The notice delivery came after the DPRK’s official newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported Wednesday that top DPRK leader Kim Jong-un said he would welcome the ROK compatriots at any time if they want to come to Mount Kumgang.
Kim ordered the removal of ROK-built facilities in Mount Kumgang in an agreement with the relevant unit of the ROK side.
The tour by ROK people to Mount Kumgang has been halted since a ROK female tourist was shot dead in 2008 by a DPRK soldier after allegedly venturing into off-limit areas.
ROK Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Thursday that tour by ROK people to the Mount Kumgang resort was not basically subject to the UN Security Council sanctions.
Kang noted that individuals’ tour to the mountain resort was a matter of whether the unification ministry in charge of inter-Korean affairs would grant it or not.