NK Tourism Programs Face DelayMinister Kang In Deok of the Ministry of Unification said on September 10 that 'Departure, originally scheduled for September 25, on the North Korean tour program will be difficult, if not impossible.'
Kang made this statement in round table conference on security related matters with the United Liberal Democrats (ULD), adding 'We are not saying that the tour programs will have to be cancelled for travel to Mt. Kumgang and other exchange efforts with North Korea are among the 100 major projects on this administration's agenda. We do intend to pursue an open door policy towards the North.'
He also commented that 'The government made a request to Hyundai that it meet 10 conditions including guarantees about security and the cost of the tour. However not all of these conditions have been fulfilled yet. We feel that September 25 is too close a date to see all preparations completed and see the departure being put off for at least two or three more weeks. '
For its part Hyundai was taken completely by surprise at Minister Kang's statement. A Hyundai source said, 'We have already obtained the government's permission for the tour and we do not understand the reason for this possible delay.'
Officials from Hyundai did hold a general meeting to discuss the latest developments and it appears that in the end the company will have to announce a delay in the program.
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