Hyundai,NK May Continue Mt. Kumgang Project the Negotiations between Hyundai and North Korea to Prop Up the Debt- Ridden Mt.Kumgang Tours, Which for Months Have Been One of the Biggest Variables in Inter-Korean Relations, Could Be over as Soon as Next Week, Unification Minister Lim Dong-Won Said Yesterday
``Since both sides (Hyundai and North Korea's Asia-Pacific Peace Committee) made significant strides in (last week's) negotiations, I expect a wrap-up to be possible even next week,'' he told reporters, one day after coming back from Hawaii for talks with North Korea experts from the U.S.
After an agreement is reached between the two, the government could also take ``necessary measures'' after forming a ``national consensus,'' Lim said, adding that such could also contribute to development in inter-Korean relations.
A Hyundai official confirmed that they are planning for a final round of negotiations next week to strike an agreement.
As a result of Lim's remarks, it seems highly likely that North Korea gave in to most of the three South Korean demands for the normalization of the landmark tour project: readjustment of the heavy entrance fees, opening up the land route to the Mt. Kumgang resort, and other measures to activate business there such as designating the area as special economic zone.
The government's assistant package is likely to consist of the use of the South-North Cooperation Fund for the project.
In the meantime, Lim also said that at the just-ended meeting of North Korea experts in Hawaii, the conventional weapons reduction issue has also been brought up. …