North reveals its plans for Mount Kumgang resortNorth Korea yesterday disclosed a plan to redevelop a resort on Mount Kumgang into an international tourist and business site after unilaterally putting on hold the South’s stake in what started as a joint business project and a symbol of reconciliation between the two Koreas.
The North is believed to still be using some of the facilities built by South Korea at the resort, a move that could further enrage the South.
Yonhap News Agency reported that the North is planning to develop a 60-square-kilometer (15-acre) area of the resort into a global tourist and business venue.
Under the plan, investments in key infrastructure, energy and electricity facilities in the area will be managed and supervised by a North Korean committee, but other areas will be left for foreign investors to develop on their own.
The plan also includes the construction of golf courses, a horse racing arena and casinos. A railway linking Beijing to Pyongyang will be used for the tourist program and ferries will take people to Kumgang from the Rason free economic zone in North Hamgyong Province.
The plan was presented to Yonhap by Park Chol-su, head of the Daepung International Investment Group, a major foreign investment venture for North Korea, coinciding with the start of a tourism program for foreign investors and the media launched by the North.
Investors and officials of tourism companies from the U.S., China, Japan and Russia were scheduled to arrive via ship from Rason at Changjon Port near Kumgang resort yesterday on a six-day tour arranged by the North.
The North is expected to make the plan public during the tour, possibly with more details unveiled.
South Korean sources told the JoongAng Ilbo yesterday that North Korea is planning to use a new pier at the port built by Hyundai, the South Korean resort manager, for the tour.
“The old pier at Changjon Port is only accessible to fishing boats or small military vessels,” a Unification Ministry official said. “The [9,670-ton] Mankyongbong 92, known to be used in the international tour, will have to get to the new port to allow passengers to disembark.”
Hyundai is known to have spent around 170 billion won ($157 million) on the pier and the roads linking the pier to the resort.
By Moon Gwang-lip, Lee Young-jong [firstname.lastname@example.org]
한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]
북, 금강산 외국인 관광에 현대측 시설 쓸 듯
1100억 들인 장전항 부두 이용 계획
자산 몰수된 현대와 정부 대응 촉각
북한이 28일 시작한 금강산 외국인 시범관광에 현대 측 장전항 부두시설을 이용할 계획인 것으로 알려졌다. 북한이 일방적으로 몰수·처분하겠다고 밝힌 금강산 지역 내 한국 정부·민간 부동산과 설비를 외국인 관광에 동원하는 것은 이번이 처음으로 현대와 우리 정부의 대응이 주목된다.
통일부 당국자는 “장전항 옛 부두는 어선과 소형 군함 정도가 이용할 수 있어 대형 관광선의 경우 이용이 어렵다”며 “북한이 국제관광에 쓸 것으로 알려진 만경봉 92호(9670t급)의 경우 현대가 건설한 본선부두(신부두)에 접안해야 할 것”이라고 말했다. 현대의 부두시설은 이산가족면회소·온천장 등 정부가 밝힌 금강산 지역 내 남측 부동산 목록에 포함돼 있지 않다.
최규철 남북포럼 대표는 “부두건설 1100억원 등 관광 인프라에 현대 측 2000억원이 들었다”며 “북한이 이번 국제관광에 이들 시설을 사용하는 것”이라고 말했다. 북한은 지난 22일 금강산 남측 재산 처분과 관리 인원 추방 조치를 취했고, 정부는 법적·외교적 대응 방침을 밝힌 바 있다.
More in Social Affairs
Chuseok travelers discouraged, warned to be careful
Honk against Moon this Saturday, lose your license
No wrongdoing by Choo or family, prosecutors find
Law firm Shin & Kim announces new recruits
Most social distancing rules to remain through Chuseok break