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S. Korea approves Hyundai officials' trip to N. Korea for memorial service

All Headlines 10:52 August 01, 2018

SEOUL, Aug. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's government has approved Hyundai Group officials' request for a trip to North Korea this week for a memorial service of its late former chairman, the unification ministry said Wednesday.

Fifteen Hyundai officials have sought to visit Mount Kumgang on its east coast Friday and attend the memorial service for Chung Mong-hun, who had spearheaded the now-suspended inter-Korean tour program in North Korea.

The delegation includes Chung's wife, Hyundai Group Chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun.

"We approved the trip request from a humanitarian perspective," a unification ministry official said.

Hyundai Group has had memorial services for Chung on Mount Kumgang every year since his death in 2003, except in 2016 and 2017, when inter-Korean relations remained frozen.

The group had been a key partner in a joint tour program at Mount Kumgang and a joint factory park in North Korea's border city of Kaesong, both of which have been suspended for years.

In August 2003, Chung jumped to his death from his office in Seoul amid a scandal over Hyundai's secret payment of US$500 million to North Korea before the 2000 inter-Korean summit.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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