North Korea refuses Hyundai Group memorial request

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North Korea refuses Hyundai Group memorial request

North Korea has rejected a call by South Korean conglomerate Hyundai Group to hold a memorial service for its late chairman in the North.

The group said Friday that the memorial service for former Chairman Chung Mong-hun, who had spearheaded the now-suspended inter-Korean tour program in North Korea, will not be held on Mount Kumgang this year after Pyongyang notified South Korean officials through the inter-Korean liaison office last week that the memorial service cannot be held due to its “internal conditions.”

Any trip by South Koreans to North Korea requires the South Korean government’s approval, as well as the North’s consent because the two Koreas are still technically at war since the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

Except for 2016 and 2017, Hyundai Group has had memorial services for Chung on Mount Kumgang every year since his death in 2003. Chung jumped to his death from his office in Seoul on Aug. 4, 2003.

Hyundai Group had been a key partner in a now stalled joint tour program at Mount Kumgang and a joint factory park in the North Korean border city of Kaesong through its affiliate Hyundai Asan.

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