중앙데일리

Tours to Geumgang restart

New Asan head will talk business in North

Aug 14,2003
A group of 520 tourists boarded the Hyundai cruise ship Seolbong yesterday and set off from Sokcho for Mount Geumgang, North Korea.
Resumption of the tours quelled concerns that last week’s unexpected death of the top inter-Korean business leader, former Hyundai Asan Chairman Chung Mong-hun, would impede cross-border exchanges. “We will restart the cruise tour to Mount Geumgang, which was temporarily halted due to the death of our chairman,” Hyundai Asan Corp., the South’s operator of the Mount Geumgang tours, said yesterday. Mr. Chung committed suicide on Aug. 4.
“President Kim Yoon-kyu, for the first time as practical head of the firm, traveled to North Korea via an overland route to discuss inter-Korean business programs with the North,” Hyundai said.
He will return to Seoul Saturday after discussing with the Asia-Pacific Peace Committee several Hyundai ventures in the North, including the resumption of overland tours to Mount Geumgang, the opening ceremony of a sports stadium in Pyeongyang and the Gaeseong industrial complex.
Separately from the tour program, another group of 800 university students also departed for the mountain resort yesterday aboard buses, traveling on a cross-border road on the east coast, to attend a peace festival celebrating National Liberation Day, which is tomorrow.
After Mr. Chung’s death, Pyeongyang had halted the maritime tour programs to Mount Geumgang as an expression of condolences. It also had postponed planned inter-Korean government talks.
One of these meetings, on relinking the North-South roads and rails, will be held in Gaeseong Tuesday and Wednesday.


by Lee Won-ho, Jeong Yong-soo


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