Resumed Mount Kumgang tour to become breakthrough in inter

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South Koreans' tour to Mount Kumgang itself is not subject to UN Security Council resolutions, but the travel costs paid to the DPRK side in "bulk cash" could be subject to international sanctions.

The reopened Mount Kumgang tour "can be a breakthrough" in relations between the two Koreas and between the DPRK and the United States, the governor said.

The tour by South Koreans to Mount Kumgang, launched in 1998, had been run for about 10 years before shutdown in 1008 when a South Korean tourist was shot dead by a DPRK soldier after allegedly venturing into off-limit areas.

The governor of the province bordering the DPRK proposed the Mount Kumgang tour resumption as a "one-point small sanctions lifting," saying he conveyed his proposal to the White House during his U.S. trip earlier this month.

Kim said last month that he would welcome the South Korean compatriots at any time if they want to come to the mountain resort, ordering the removal of South Korea-built "shabby" facilities in Mount Kumgang in an agreement with the relevant unit of the South Korean side.

Choi said the Mount Kumgang tour program would be at the center of inter-Korean exchanges as it was once the symbol of inter-Korean peace that can be immediately and easily reopened given the experience of a decade-long operation.

Moon and top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un agreed during their third summit in Pyongyang last September to resume the Mount Kumgang tour project "when conditions are met."

SEOUL, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- The resumed tour by South Koreans to Mount Kumgang resort in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) can be a breakthrough in relations between the two Koreas and between the DPRK and the United States, the governor of an eastern South Korean province said Tuesday.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in advocated a virtuous cycle of improved inter-Korean relations having a positive impact on the DPRK-U.S. ties and vice versa.

Gangwon Province Governor Choi Moon-soon told a press conference with foreign correspondents in Seoul that inter-Korean exchanges would be of significance for the ongoing peace process on the Korean Peninsula aimed at achieving the complete denuclearization of and the permanent peace settlement on the peninsula.