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Mt. Keumgang Tour Is on Crisis Again

Posted November. 21, 2001 09:06,   


Hyundai Asan is to interrupt Mt. Keumgang Tour project if the South and North governments do not offer any plausible measure to support and vitalize the project by Dec. 15.

In relation, chairperson of the Hyundai Asan board committee Chung Mong-Hun will visit the North at the end of this month to make the final deal with the North`s Asia Pacific Peace Committee whether the company will continue.

Kim Yoon-Kyu, Hyundai Asan CEO, met with reporters at Mt. Keumgang, Nov. 19, and expressed his position that the company "cannot continue Mt. Keumgang project any longer. We cannot but interrupt the project if the South government won`t provide a visible support measure and the North government won`t designate Mt. Keumgang area as a special economic zone and not open inland routes for the tour."

Mr. Kim added, "this business is priceless project that someone has to carry out as the late Chung Ju-Young, Hyundai group founder, wanted. I wish the project continues but I don`t have choice if the fuel (money) runs out."

He explained, "chairperson Chung Mong-Hun will visit Pyongyang or Mt. Keumgang to send an ultimatum to the North to implement such agreements as the inland tour and the designation of a special economic zone. We are not requesting for money for nothing. We are requesting for the permission of on-board casino business and the tax exemption limits."

A related official said, "the overdraft checks of billion won will return by Dec. 15th. We don`t have any measure against this situation." The Hyundai Asan side asserted that the company is on the financial crisis because the Korea National Tourism Organization agreed to support 90 billion won but has not even provided 45 billion won yet.

Dong-Won Kim daviskim@donga.com