North Korea demolished eight buildings of a South Korean-built golf resort at Mt. Kumgang without giving a prior notice to the South Korean government. The Ministry of Unification asked the North for explanation twice via the inter-Korean liaison hotline, but the North is remaining silent. Following a series of missile provocations, North Korea is raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula by demolishing South Korean-built facilities.
The Voice of America (VOA) reported on Tuesday (local time) that North Korea demolished South Korean facilities at the Ananti Golf and Spa Resort in Mt. Kumgang. Satellite images taken by Planet Labs on Saturday showed that the roofs and exterior walls of eight buildings, including the ones in the center and the periphery of the resort, were all dismantled. It was confirmed from the photos taken earlier that the North began to dismantle the buildings in the center of the resort from around April 10. It took a week for the North to demolish all the buildings in the resort. Nick Hansen, a visiting researcher at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, said he has no idea how the North was able to demolish the buildings so quickly, adding it could have used a bulldozer.
The South Korean resort company Ananti invested about 92.5 billion won to build the golf resort at Mt. Kumgang, which opened in 2008, on the land leased from Hyundai Asan. The operation of the resort, however, was halted two months later as inter-Korean relations soured after South Korean tourist Park Wang-ja was shot dead by a North Korean soldier. It was found that the Hotel Haegumgang, which was operated by Hyundai Asan, was also dismantled. The seven-story hotel has been demolished to one to three floors, according to VOA.
Despite its fast demolition of the South Korean facilities, North Korea is still not responding to South Korea’s request for dialogue.
Ji-Sun Choi firstname.lastname@example.org