Golf resort

North Korea demolishes South Korean-built golf resort at Mount Kumgang (responsible for Seoul)

SEOUL, April 12 (Yonhap) — North Korea continues to unilaterally demolish a South Korean-built golf resort near Mount Kumgang on its east coast, still unresponsive to Seoul’s investigation into the matter, said said a government official here on Tuesday.

“The dismantling of the Haegumgang Hotel and the demolition of the golf course are constantly going on,” the unification ministry official told reporters on condition of anonymity. The official declined to elaborate, saying it was an intelligence matter.

NK News, a media outlet specializing in North Korea issues, earlier reported that the North appears to have demolished the Ananti Golf and Spa Resort facilities on April 9 and 10, citing satellite images provided by Planet Labs.

On Monday, the southern government asked the North through the inter-Korean liaison hotline to confirm the status of the hotel and golf resort, but there has been no official response yet, the official said.

“We strongly urge North Korea to immediately cease its unilateral actions that infringe on the property rights of our companies,” the official said.

Pyongyang had earlier announced it would remove facilities from Mount Kumgang, with its leader Kim Jong-un ordering authorities to demolish all “unpleasant” facilities at the resort in 2019, which was once an icon of inter-Korean joint ventures.

The Mount Kumgang tour program was launched in 1998, during which many South Koreans took cross-border trips to the scenic mountain. It stopped in 2008, when a South Korean tourist was shot dead by a North Korean soldier.

Meanwhile, North Korean state media reported that a forest fire broke out on Mount Kumgang over the weekend, damaging hundreds of hectares of forests and facilities. It was not immediately confirmed whether the fire was related to the demolition of the golf resort.