Resort facilities

North Korea leader orders demolition of South Korean-made resort facilities

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered the removal of ‘unpleasant-looking’ hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions – built by South Korea – in the resort town of Mount Kumgang, officials reported on Wednesday. official media.

While the resort was developed more than a decade ago as a symbol of collaboration, South Korean tours have been suspended since 2008 after one of its tourists was shot by a North Korean soldier for entering a prohibited area.

Earlier, North Korea had called for a resumption of the touring schedule, which has helped the country earn much-needed foreign currency.

But with inter-Korean ties apparently deteriorating, Pyongyang intends to develop the site on its own, the official Korean Central News Agency report said.

When he visited the resort, Kim ordered the removal of “all unpleasant facilities on the south side with an agreement with the relevant unit on the south side”, according to KCNA.

The leader also expressed his readiness to “build new modern service facilities in our own way”, the news agency said, adding that he had “strongly criticized the very misguided and dependent policy of the predecessors who were going to rely on others when the country was not strong enough.”

Facilities in the tourist area are “just a hodgepodge without any national character” and “not only very backward in terms of architecture, but they look shabby because they are not properly maintained,” Kim said. .

However, he was also quoted as saying, “We will always welcome our southern compatriots if they want to come to Mount Kumgang after it is wonderfully built as a world-class tourist destination.”

He was accompanied on the trip by Kim Yo Jong – his sister and a prominent member of Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party – as well as First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, KCNA said. It is not known when the visit took place.

Mount Kumgang is located along the east coast of North Korea, near the border with South Korea. It became a popular destination for South Koreans when it was opened to them in 1998 under Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il.

South Korean President Moon Jae In has attempted to revive the joint project, but no concrete action has been taken, largely due to international sanctions aimed at thwarting the North’s nuclear and missile ambitions.