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N. Korea invites foreigners to invest in large-scale water park at Mount Kumgang

All Headlines 15:56 November 07, 2018

SEOUL, Nov. 7 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is pushing to build a large-scale water park at Mount Kumgang on the east coast and trying to attract foreign investment into the project.

The website of the North's Kumgangsan International Travel Company posted an investment guide on Wednesday, saying it will build the so-called Kumgangsan Swimming Complex for tourists on a 200,000-square-meter site in Onjong-ri of Kangwon Province's Kosong County.

According to the guide, an outdoor swimming pool of the planned water park has a floor space of 80,000 square meters and covers an area of 150,000 square meters, while an indoor swimming pool has a floor space of 15,000 square meters and covers an area of 50,000 square meters.

N. Korea invites foreigners to invest in large-scale water park at Mount Kumgang0

The Mount Kumgang water park envisioned by the North is considered very large, as South Korea's Ocean World water park located in Hongcheon, near Seoul, covers a space of 160,000 square meters.

"The indoor and outdoor swimming pools with various water slides and swimming facilities will be built at a marine park in the port of Kosong to provide a variety of amusement and entertainment services to tourists," the North's investment guide said.

As for the method of investment, the guide noted that the water park is to be built in a period of six months and operated for 10 years in the form of a joint venture.

The guide also said that foreign investors are invited to invest in the construction of an exhibition hall of regional products and a hospital beside the water park.

The hospital designed to treat tourists and North Korean staff in the Mount Kumgang tourist zone is to have three floors and an area of 2,500 square meters, it said.

The exhibition hall will consist of various stores selling the region's marine products, wild greens, vegetables, fruits and livestock products, it added.

File footage of Pyongyang's Korean Central Television taken on July 28, 2018, shows North Korean people enjoying swimming at a water park in Pyongyang. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

Watchers say the sanctions-hit North Korea appears to be trying to increase foreign currency revenue in tourism by building a large-scale water park at Mount Kumgang. The North also seems to be preparing for a resumption of South Korean tours to the scenic mountain resort. Seoul suspended tours to Mount Kumgang in 2008 following the shooting death of a South Korean tourist there.

"The resumption of South Korean tours to Mount Kumgang will be possible only after the North's implementation of denuclearization and the easing of anti-North sanctions. The (water park) project seems to indicate the North's preparation for the resumption," Lim Eul-chul, a professor at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies at Kyungnam University, said.

"As a water park is a facility common in South Korea, North Korea appears to be meticulously trying to induce the South's capital and tourists to Mount Kumgang," Lim said.

ycm@yna.co.kr
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