SEOUL: South Korea on Monday offered to hold working-level talks with North Korea to discuss issues on the North’s scenic resort of Mt. Kumgang.
Seoul’s Unification Ministry spokesman Lee Sang-min said in a press briefing that the government and Hyundai Asan Corp., which participated in the inter-Korean tour project, sent notices earlier in the day to their North Korean counterparts through the inter-Korean liaison office in the North Korea’s border town of Kaesong.
With the notices, the South Korean side proposed working-level talks with North Korea to discuss issues on the halted tour by South Koreans to the Mt. Kumgang resort, including the issues raised by the North. Through the notice delivered to the South on Friday, North Korea offered to discuss the removal of South Korea-built facilities in Mt. Kumgang using the exchange of letters, not face-to-face talks.
North Korea said in the notice that it would build and launch its own tour project in Mt. Kumgang.
The tour by South Koreans to Mt. Kumgang, launched in 1998, has been suspended since a South Korean female tourist was shot dead in 2008 by a North Korean soldier after allegedly venturing into off-limit areas.
North’s official newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported on Wednesday that top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un said he would welcome the South Korean compatriots at any time if they want to come to Mt. Kumgang.
Kim ordered the removal of South Korea-built facilities in Mt. Kumgang in an agreement with the relevant unit of the South Korean side.