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Seoul-owned Hotel Haegeumgang is completely destroyed by Pyongyang

Seoul-owned Hotel Haegeumgang is completely destroyed by Pyongyang

Posted May. 05, 2023 08:00,   

Updated May. 05, 2023 08:00


It has been found that North Korea fully demolished Hotel Haegeumgang – one of South Korea’s assets left in the Mt. Kumgang tourist area, North Korea. Such a unilateral decision was made even after Seoul called on Pyongyang to suspend the destruction job based on circumstantial evidence gathered last March, claiming that it would violate the inter-Korean agreement and infringe on Seoul’s property rights.

Voice of America (VOA) on Thursday covered satellite images dated Wednesday showing Tongchon Port with supporting members for the lower-floor structure of the hotel completely cleared away from the site. After the length of the support structure started getting shorter in March, it was estimated at around 20 meters, a fifth of the original scale, on April 21 and was not seen on satellite imaging data by the end of last month.

After Hotel Haegeumgang, famously designed to float on the water, was built in a zone owned by an Australian businessman in the Mt. Kumgang tourist area, Hyundai Asan acquired the property. However, the hotel was abandoned for more than 10 years after the killing of Park Wang-ja occurred in 2018 led to a complete halt to tourist programs for the mountain area. In October 2019, after his visit to Mt. Kumgang, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un issued an order to completely remove all the leftover facilities owned by South Korea. Consequently in March last year, the hotel’s support frame was moved to Tongchon Port to be destroyed last March.

The South Korean government announced that it would review any possible legal action to take for the unilateral demolition of the assets owned by South Korean businesses. However, experts pointed out that even if it files and wins a lawsuit for damages with local courts, it has no chance of commencing compulsory execution.

Na-Ri Shin journari@donga.com