The project is considered one of the most tangible symbols of cooperation between the two countries. Last month, the regime demanded that the South-built resort be taken down. Seoul calls for talks to discuss its fate.
Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - North Korea has sent an ultimatum to the South Korean government in which it declares itself ready to unilaterally demolish the facilities built by Seoul on Mount Kumgang, the regime media report today.
The firm position of the North suggests little room for negotiations between the two Koreas, which the South has tried to strike to keep the long-standing project alive. This is considered one of the most tangible symbols of reconciliation and cooperation between the two countries.
Last month, Pyongyang asked the South to tear down the resort located on the eastern coast of the North, stating that it would build an international tourist area of its own. South Korea has called for face-to-face talks to discuss the fate of the project and proposed to send a delegation to check the facilities. The North rejected the offers, stating that the issue can be discussed in writing.
This morning, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announced: "On Nov. 11, we sent an ultimatum, warning that if the South Korean authorities persist in their useless assertion, we will take it as an abandonment of the withdrawal, and take resolute measure for unilaterally pulling down the facilities".
"We will develop Mount Kumgang to be the world renowned tourist resort with responsibility and in our own way as its owner for the sake of the nation and posterity," KCNA said. "There is no room for South Korea to find its place there."
Seoul Unification Ministry urges Pyongyang to hold negotiations to resolve the problem. In a regular meeting with the press, today spokesman Kim Eun-han said: " The government will handle this in a calm manner based on our consistent position that the issue of Mount Kumgang tourism should be dealt with through mutual agreement between the South and the North”. "We urge the North to respond positively to our position," he said. The official added that North Korea had no deadline in his last message.