N. Korea makes new move in row over resort
Sunday 01 May 2011
North Korea said Friday it would encourage international investment in a mountain resort, weeks after threatening to scrap its exclusive deal with the South Korean firm that helped fund the project.
The special zone for international tours will be set up around Mount Kumgang under a decree issued by parliament Friday, the North's official news agency said.
The resort on the east coast was largely developed by the South's Hyundai Asan and was the two countries' first joint project, designed to foster reconciliation.
Tours by South Koreans, once a significant source of hard currency for the impoverished North, began in 1998.
But they ground to a halt in 2008 after a North Korean soldier shot dead a Seoul housewife who had strayed into a restricted military zone.
The South says it will not restart them until the North allows an on-site investigation into the shooting and gives firm safety guarantees - a demand Pyongyang refuses to accept.
Three weeks ago the North threatened to deprive Hyundai Asan of its monopoly over the tours to the resort in which the South Korean firm has invested millions of dollars.
The North has warned it may reach a deal with an unspecified "overseas businessman" to replace Hyundai Asan.
Overall cross-border relations have been icy since the South accused the North of torpedoing a warship in March 2010 with the loss of 46 lives.
Pyongyang denies the charge but went on to shell a South Korean island last November, killing four people.
The North, in its decree Friday, said it would encourage free investment in the new zone by "corporate bodies, individuals and other economic bodies".
Measures will be taken to increase new tourist attractions depending on progress made in developing the zone, it said.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
- 5 Dutch paedophile club to fight their ban at the European Court of Human Rights
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...
Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...
£45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...