Officials at Hyundai Asan, the operator of a halted inter-Korean tour program and developer of the closed Kaesong industrial park, announced its anticipation Wednesday for Korea’s new President Moon Jae-in to ease tension with North Korea so the company can resume its tour program and operations at the industrial park.
“Hyundai Asan will by fully prepared for the moment that the two Koreas resume dialogue that could lead to a reopening of the Mount Kumgang tour. We hope that it won’t be too long,” a Hyundai Asan official was quoted as saying in news reports.
A closed gate at Kaesong industrial park (Yonhap)
The inter-Korean tour program to North Korea’s Mount Kumgang has been shut for nine years since July 12, 2008, after a female tourist was shot and killed by a North Korean soldier.
Over the years, Hyundai Asan’s number of employees has been downsized from 1,084 to 175, with revenue losses of 1.07 trillion won ($943 million).
During his campaign, President Moon vowed to restore talks with the North and said that negotiations on Kaesong industrial park and the Mount Kumkang tours might resume, depending on progress made in getting Pyongyang to stop its ballistic missile tests and nuclear program development.
By Julie Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org