중앙데일리

1st Mt. Kumgang Cruise Returns Bearing Hope

Nov 22,1998
The first Mt. Kumgang cruise ship, the Hyundai Kumgang, completed its maiden voyage and returned to Donghae harbor on November 22. The ship left Changjon Harbor at 9 p.m. November 21 and arrived at Donghae at 6:25 a.m.
As the first Mt. Kumgang cruise finished successfully, another milestone was established in the relationship between North and South Korea. A sea route was established again after fifty years of being severed. The tour will only hasten other companies' economic cooperation projects with the North.
Tourists evaluated the tour program very positively and offered no serious complaints. The main factor for this success stems from the North's change in attitude. North Korean officials seldom tried to aggressively control tourists.
However, the Mt. Kumgang tour program still has many obstacles to overcome. First, the program can be halted at anytime by a freezing of North-South relations if either government sees fit. Second, tourists cannot help feeling uneasy because a number of reporters and officials did not receive approval to enter the country.
Hwang Chul, a high-ranking official of the Asia Pacific Peace Committee of North Korea said, 'We are very satisfied with the result of the first cruise. The Mt. Kumgang tour program will develop more and more. We did not approve entry of certain reporters and officials because of some 'emotional problems'.'
Chong Ju Yung, the chairman of Hyundai said, 'It's very fortunate to finish the tour successfully.' The Hyundai Kumgang plans to leave Donghae Harbor at 5:30 p.m. to transport a further 447 tourists to Mt. Kumgang.



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