Bid to save troubled resort
SEOUL, 13 July 2011 – A group of 10 South Korean officials and business people crossed the border into North Korea on Wednesday to discuss the fate of a troubled jointly run resort in the communist state.
They will meet the North’s authorities at the scenic Mount Kumgang resort, said a unification ministry spokeswoman in Seoul, after Pyongyang last month threatened to dispose of all Seoul-owned properties there.
Initial negotiations two weeks ago produced no solid agreement on how to settle the dispute over the resort.
But the South suspended tours by its people after a North Korean soldier shot dead a Seoul tourist who had strayed into a restricted military zone there in July 2008.
The South has said it will not resume the tours until the North allows an on-site investigation into the shooting and gives firm safety guarantees.
In protest at the refusal to restart the tours, the North later deprived Hyundai Asan of its monopoly over trips to the resort, where the company has invested millions of dollars.
Last year, North Korea seized or sealed off several South Korean properties and last month it warned it would dispose of them.
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