North Korea asked the South through the inter-Korean liaison office in December to tear down buildings at the North’s Kumgangsan mountain resort, government sources familiar with the matter said Thursday.
Kumgangsan Resort (Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency)
Pyongyang requested Seoul do so by February this year. The northern neighbor had also asked South Korea in November to dismantle facilities at the resort by the month’s end.
“I can’t confirm anything at the moment because the matter is under consultation between Seoul and Pyongyang,” one source said. “On the matter of the Kumgangsan resort, our position is that those in charge from Seoul and Pyongyang meet face-to-face and resolve differences.”
North Korea has refused to meet with South Korea on the matter despite Seoul’s repeated attempts to draw Pyongyang to the table.
Amid the deadlock over the denuclearization talks between the United States and North Korea, South Korean President Moon Jae-in earlier spoke on resuming “individual tourism” to the North as an inter-Korean project to improve ties.
US Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris urged South Korea to consult with the US on potential inter-Korean projects, but Seoul’s Unification Ministry rebutted, saying Friday that as a sovereign country South Korea dictates its own engagement policies with North Korea.
The ministry further reiterated its earlier position that both Koreas should sit down and discuss divergent approaches to the Kumgangsan resort.
By Choi Si-young (firstname.lastname@example.org