Difficult for N. Korea to earn currency through Mt. Geumgang tours without S. Korean tourists…


now once the crown jewel in terms of
inter-korean projects South Korean tourists to North Korea’s famous Mount
Kumgang hang in the balance as Pyongyang is demanding Seoul coming tear downs
facilities at the resorts that barely been used since 2008
analysts say Pyongyang is aiming to develop its own tours and sector and
earn foreign currency but will face a dilemma on whether to involve South
Korea in this regard our correspondent in charge of North Korean affairs Oh
jung-hee has more Pyongyang first notified solar late last month that it
should come and demolish its facilities and that the details could be decided
through written exchanges in turn South Korea suggested holding working-level
talks and sending a team north to inspect the facilities both of which
were rejected Solar has been looking to create an opportunity for the two sides
to meet and talk face-to-face and as much as the tours began as a joint
project and in view of their historical significance but the regime has
completely rejected that possibility a North Korea expert says Pyongyang never
intended to discuss and mutually agree through tearing down of South Korean
facilities it had already made up its mind next year is the last year of the
regime’s five-year economic development plan and the most effective way to see
any substantial fruition is to boost tourism pyongyang has been expecting
Seoul to resume Mount Kumgang tours but that didn’t happen until now and
therefore the north is very pessimistic about cooperating with the South the
North aims to finish building the ones on Karma tourist area on its eastern
coast by next April and Mount Kumgang is included in this showed it’s believed
North Korea would want to work on Mount Kumgang as well and put an end to ten
years of neglect the north wants to develop and run the tours independently
and would let South Koreans come later but this doesn’t mean that the north is
completely confident in its plans even though Mount Kumgang is very
beautiful unless there are tourists from South Korea it’ll be difficult for the
north to get back its investment in the long term it’ll be a loss that could
even dry up the regime’s finances it’s a dilemma for the north even though it
wants to lead the tour business without South Korea it won’t be able to see
profits the door for dialogue with the north seems closed at the moment and
regarding what source should do experts have divided opinions some say
South Korea should keep knocking the door and suggest a new creative way to
resume the tours others say now is not the right time and solar should rather
focus on securing properties at the resort Oh jung-hee Arirang news

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