Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul says it seems North Korea’s demand for the removal of South Korean facilities at Mount Geumgang aims to press the outside world to resume tours to the mountain resort.

Kim made the remark on Tuesday during a full session of the National Assembly’s Special Committee on Budgets and Accounts when asked by a ruling party lawmaker why the North made the demand.  

Kim said by making the demand, the North also appears to be expressing the will to resume tours to Mount Geumgang using its own resources.  

The minister said the government is continuously holding consultations with Hyundai Asan, the operator of the tours. However, he said it would be most preferable to hold discussions with the North face to face to settle issues related to the tour program.  

Kim also talked about the ministry’s plan to devise creative solutions for the Mount Geumgang tours by thoroughly taking into account changes in the environment.  

He said the Mount Geumgang region is not only a tourism venue but also a space for holding family reunions as well as social and cultural exchanges.

[Photo : YONHAP News]