S.Korea urges DPRK to handle Mount Kumgang tour issues in agreement

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-15 13:17:06|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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SEOUL, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- South Korea on Friday urged the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to handle issues on tour to the DPRK's scenic resort of Mount Kumgang in an agreement between the two sides.

Deputy Spokesman of Seoul's unification ministry Kim Eun-han told a press briefing that South Korea maintained a position that the Mount Kumgang tour issues should be tackled based on a mutual agreement between the two Koreas.

The DPRK sent an ultimatum to South Korea on Nov. 11, in which Pyongyang said it would be the last warning and the removal of South Korea-built facilities in Mount Kumgang should be discussed through the exchange of letters, the deputy spokesman said.

Kim noted that South Korea took it gravely, urging the DPRK to positively respond to Seoul's offer for working-level talks to discuss the Mount Kumgang issues.

Seoul proposed holding working-level talks with Pyongyang about the Mount Kumgang tour issues, but the DPRK said it preferred the exchange of letters, rather than face-to-face talks.

The tour by South Koreans to Mount Kumgang, launched in 1998, has been suspended since a South Korean female tourist was shot dead in 2008 by a DPRK soldier after allegedly venturing into off-limit areas.

Top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un said last month that he would welcome the South Korean compatriots at any time if they want to come to Mount Kumgang.

Kim has ordered the removal of South Korea-built "shabby" facilities in Mount Kumgang in an agreement with the relevant unit of the South Korean side.

The DPRK's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said earlier in the day that Pyongyang sent an ultimatum to warn that if the South Korean authorities persist in its useless assertion, it will take it as an abandonment of the removal and take a resolute measure to unilaterally tear down the South Korea-built facilities.