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North Korea planning to open £1bn luxury resort where tourist was shot dead
December 20, 2020
North Korea is aiming to welcome international travellers to a £1 billion all-inclusive holiday resort – that was previously shut down when a tourist was shot dead at the sea-side location.
Supreme leader Kim Jong-Un has ordered the renovation of a huge hotel, spa, and golf resort – after previously ordering the demolition of South-Korea built hotels.
The Mount Kumgang complex was a cooperative project shared by both North and South Korea – positioned just north of the border between the two nations.
Popular until 2008, the once busy destination became a ghost town after tourism came to an abrupt end following the fatal shooting of a South Korean tourist.
While North Korea claimed tourist Park Wang-na had wandered into a militarised zone, concerned officials in Seol ordered South Koreans not to travel to the holiday resort – and last year Kim demanded hotels built by the South be destroyed.
The Sun claims plans are now afoot for the luxury resort to reinvented as a new international travel destination.
Korean Central News Agency reported North Korea’s Premier, Kim Tok-hun, stressed "the need to build the tourist area our own way" on the site.
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North Korean officials reportedly want to transform the ghost town into a "cultural resort envied by the whole world”.
While Mr Tok-hun said he wants the updated resort to include "modern and all-inclusive international tourist" facilities.
Questions have been raised over how the new complex will be funded, however – particularly if South Korea is to be shunned in its construction.
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Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, said: "The Kim regime will struggle to find the resources to redevelop Mt. Kumgang and needs outside investment, but is signalling it will downgrade South Korean partners and stakeholders.”
He added: “By holding Seoul's hopes for engagement at risk, Kim is pressuring the Moon administration to find ways of resuming financial benefits for the North."