S. Korea proposes meeting on dormant tour project with North

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South Korea on Monday proposed a face-to-face meeting with North Korea over the fate of a long-shuttered joint tourist project at a scenic North Korean mountain.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last week ordered the destruction of South Korean-built facilities at the North’s Diamond Mountain resort, saying they look “shabby” and “unpleasant-looking.” North Korea later proposed an exchange of documents to work out details.


The inter-Korean tourism project began in 1998 and was a rare source of foreign currency for the impoverished North, but it was halted in 2008 when a North Korean soldier fatally shot a South Korean tourist there.

Pyongyang has called for the project’s restart since it entered nuclear diplomacy with Washington and Seoul last year. But Seoul cannot revive tours to the mountain and other massive stalled inter-Korean economic projects while international sanctions remain in place over the North’s nuclear program.

On Monday, South Korea sent a message proposing officials from the two Koreas meet to discuss issues on the tourist project including the North’s push to tear down South Korean-constructed facilities there, according to Seoul’s Unification Ministry. Spokesman Lee Sang-min said South Korea hasn’t yet proposed a specific date and location for that meeting.

Lee said South Korea has determined there should be “some sort of meeting” between the two Koreas to discuss the issue.

The South Korean-made facilities include hotels, restaurants, spas and a golf course.

North Korea didn’t immediately respond to South Korea’s proposals.

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