Pyongyang Strips South Korean Firm of Tourist Mountain Monopoly

Posted June 2nd, 2011 at 4:25 am (UTC-5)
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North Korea has unveiled a new law that would allow foreign investors to invest in a mountain resort once operated exclusively by a South Korean corporation.

The law calls for transforming Mount Kumgang into a special zone for international tours. It also ends Hyundai Asan's monopoly over the resort, which attracted scores of South Korean tourists until 2008, when a South Korean woman was shot to death by a North Korean border guard. Seoul suspended the tours in response to the incident, depriving the impoverished North of millions of dollars in hard currency.

Tensions between Seoul and Pyongyang have worsened in recent months, in the aftermath of last year's deadly sinking of a South Korean warship that Seoul has blamed on the communist regime, and North Korea's shelling of a border island several months later.