Seoul: South Korea said on Monday that it has not received any additional notification from North Korea on the fate of South Korean-built facilities at its Mount Kumgang resort despite reports of indications that Pyongyang has started work to remove them.
Signs of the North dismantling some of the resort’s facilities along the North’s east coast have been spotted amid intensifying tensions on the peninsula attributable to the secretive regime’s saber-rattling, according to an informed source.
In October 2019, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered authorities to remove them.
Months later, Pyongyang informed Seoul of its decision to postpone the removal work apparently as part of efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Lee Jong-joo, spokesperson for the South’s Ministry of Unification, told a press briefing that the government has not been given any additional notification by the North regarding the issue.
“There shouldn’t be unilateral measures by the North that infringe upon our companies’ property rights and all (relevant) issues should be resolved through consultations between the South and the North,” she said.
Launched in 1998, the Mount Kumgang tour project was once regarded as a key symbol of inter-Korean reconciliation and economic cooperation.
It was suspended in 2008 after a South Korean tourist had been shot dead by a North Korean guard near the resort for allegedly intruding into an off-limits area.