’Fess up, Hyundai Asan

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’Fess up, Hyundai Asan

Hyundai Asan, which runs tours for South Koreans in North Korea, turned out to have manufactured a warning sign, according to a government investigation. A general manager of Hyundai Asan, in charge of managing the Mount Kumgang tour, ordered his junior staff to install a warning sign right after a South Korean female tourist was shot to death by a North Korean soldier on July 11.

The general manager even forced the staff to lie about the warning sign, saying to an investigation team the quick-fix sign had existed there long.

Another thing that left us in shock was that part of the highly restricted zone was easily accessible to tourists, but Hyundai Asan did nothing about it.

According to investigation results, Hyundai Asan paid little attention to the security of its tourists. Hyundai Asan has a team which focuses on the safety of tourists, but the team was not fully operational.

In addition, no one controlled access by tourists between 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., off-limits hours for tourists, on the day of the incident at the beach where the shooting occurred.

If someone controlled the tourists’ access, the tragic incident might not have happened.

At the site of the incident, a warning sign was installed but the sign was located about 100 meters away from the beach, so it was hardly noticed by tourists. There was no information about what could happen if tourists trespassed into highly restricted zones. With such a poor safety framework, it is surprising that more incidents have not happened at Mount Kumgang.

With a South Korean tourist dead, the Hyundai Asan staff in charge of the site lied to avoid responsibility for the accident. This shows how Hyundai Asan has neglected its duty when it comes to customer safety. It is back to square one for Hyundai Asan.

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