N.K. hostilities appear designed to gain leverage

N. Korea may host international golf contest next year

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Published : 2014-08-05 19:41
Updated : 2014-08-05 19:41

North Korea may host an international golf tournament on Mount Geumgangsan next year, a move to vex South Korean investors, according to a news report Tuesday.

This year’s North Korea Golf Open took place at the Pyongyang Golf Complex on the outskirts of the capital city on July 28-29 in a yearly event that has been sponsored by Britain’s Lupine Travel since 2011, reported the Radio Free Asia.

In an interview with the Washington-based RFA, the British firm’s president, Dylan Harris, said it has received permission to open such an international tournament for amateur golfers in 2015 at the Mount Geumgangsan course, which is currently closed amid the suspension of the inter-Korean tourism program.

The South-run tour of the scenic mountain on the North’s east coast came to a halt in 2008, shortly after a South Korean tourist was shot dead by a North Korean soldier there.

The golf course, the second of its kind in the reclusive communist nation, was constructed by South Korean investors. It would be absurd for the North to open the facility to foreigners without consultations with them.

A total of 15 players from eight nations, including Britain, China, Singapore and Estonia, meanwhile, participated in this year’s North Korea Open, Harris was quoted as saying.

The number marks a significant drop from an average of around 30 in previous competitions.

The decrease seems to be attributable to sharp military tensions on the peninsula and the North’s cancellation of this year’s massive dance and gymnastics performance known as the Arirang show. (Yonhap)

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