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N.K. has 'unwavering will' to develop its own tourist zone at Mt. Kumgang: propaganda outlet

All Headlines 10:02 November 27, 2019

SEOUL, Nov. 27 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean propaganda outlet said Wednesday it is the "unwavering will" of Pyongyang to destroy all South Korean-built facilities at the Mount Kumgang resort on its east coast and construct a new international tourist destination of its own.

The article from Uriminzokkiri, one of the North's propaganda websites, came as South and North Korea remain far apart over Pyongyang's demand last month to remove all South Korean-built facilities at the scenic resort, in an apparent threat to end their long-suspended joint tour program.

"It is our unwavering will to remove all the South's unpleasant-looking facilities that have been spoiling the landscape of this famous mountain and turn it into a ... modern international cultural, tourist zone," Uriminzokkiri said.

Other North Korean propaganda outlets, such as DPRK Today, ran similar articles.

South Korea has sought face-to-face talks with the North, saying all pending issues in inter-Korean relations should be resolved through dialogue and consultations. But Pyongyang turned down the offer, insisting on discussing the issue in writing.

On Nov. 11, North Korea sent an ultimatum to the South warning that it would take steps to pull down the facilities if Seoul doesn't come and tear them down, according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

Launched in 1998, the Mount Kumgang tour program was regarded as a key symbol of inter-Korean reconciliation and economic cooperation until it was suspended in 2008, when a South Korean tourist was shot to death by a North Korean soldier. About 2 million tourists visited the mountain until its suspension.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un tours the Mount Kumgang resort on the country's east coast, in this photo captured from the North's Korean Central TV Broadcasting Station on Oct. 23, 2019. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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