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Civilians` Visit to North Korea Planned

Posted July. 08, 2003 21:44,   


Hyundai Asan Corporation has proposed a plan to send 1,000 delegates including basketball players and regular South Korean citizens to Pyong Yang in August while the inter-Korea highway is still under construction to attend a ceremony to celebrate the completion of “Ryu-gyung Chung Ju-young Gymnasium”.

An official at the Ministry of Unification said yesterday that “when Hyundai Asan submits the invitation from North Korea and promissory notes for security and applies for the visit to the North, the government will make its decision on their official request after consulting with the U.N. Command, which has jurisdiction over the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).”

If allowed, it will become an unprecedented event in that 1,000 civilians all together will travel from Seoul to Pyong Yang, passing across the DMZ and the Military Demarcation Line (MDL).

Out of the 1,000 delegates, Hyundai Asan plans to select some 500 people who are interested in cooperative business with the North and the other 500 among basketball team members, journalists, and leaders in politics and industry.

Construction to build the Pyong Yang Gymnasium started in 1999 as wished by the late founder of Hyundai Group, Chung Ju-young.

Seung-Ryun Kim srkim@donga.com