N. Korea says it will tear down S. Korean facilities at Mount Geumgang if Seoul doesn't do so
Updated: 2019-11-15 09:10:18 KST
Another big announcement from North Korea this morning.
The North says it has sent a final notice to South Korea that it will tear down Seoul's facilities at the Mount Geumgangsan resort if South Korea doesn't do so.
This as a response to Seoul's suggestion last week to send an investigation team to the area.
For more details on this,. we have our Unification Ministry correspondent Oh Jung-hee on the line for us.
Jung-hee, what did North Korea say?
Ji-yoon, according to Pyeongyang's state-run Korean Central News Agency, North Korea sent an ultimatum this Monday to the South Korean government.
It says the North will go ahead and unilaterally demolish South Korean facilities at the Mount Geumgang resort if Seoul doesn't do it.
The North says South Korea doesn't seem to understand its demand and keeps on mentioning other options like a "creative approach," "working-level talks" and an "investigation team visit to the North."
The regime accused Seoul of ignoring its facilities for the past ten years and only now trying to take action.
It stressed there's no room for South Korea in regards to tours to Mount Geumgang and that the mountain is not something shared by the two sides.
The North reiterated that the regime will take responsibility and develop the Mount Geumgang area as an international tourist destination.
Pyeongyang first notified Seoul late last month to come and tear down its facilities and the details of that could be made through written exchanges.
In turn, South Korea suggested working-level talks and sending a team north of the border to check the facilities there both of which were rejected.
Seoul has been looking to create an opportunity for the two sides to meet and talk face-to-face but it seems the North has completely shunned that possibility.
And Seoul's Unification Ministry held a regular press briefing this morning how did South Korea respond to all this?
The South Korean government confirmed that it received such a notice from the North early this week.
It explained that the notice had the expression 'last warning' but didn't clearly state the deadline for Seoul to come and remove its buildings.
The government says it still believes that the issue of Mount Geumgang tours should be discussed and agreed by the two sides as South Korean firms' property rights will have to be protected.
Seoul called on the North to respond to its stance as well.
Regarding what it will do now, Seoul says it's discussing the matter with the firms that ran businesses at the tourist resort.
The government didn't reveal when it will send a reply to the North's notice it says it will update us once there's some progress in their exchanges.
Regarding the North's denouncements this morning, Seoul stressed that the two sides need to treat each other with mutual respect.
That's all I have for now, but I'll definitely be watching the developments and will keep you posted.