01 Aug 2012
SEOUL, July 31 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has approved a visit by South Korean businessmen to a mountain resort despite a longstanding dispute over the joint project, reports said Tuesday.
About 10 officials from Hyundai Asan, the operator of suspended tours to Mount Kumgang, will visit the resort Friday to mark the 9th anniversary of the death of late Hyundai Group chairman Chung Mong-hun.
Chung, credited with promoting business ties between the two Koreas, committed suicide in 2003 after he was accused of sending money to Pyongyang before the historic 2000 summit between the estranged Koreas.
The once-lucrative tours, launched in 1998 amid a growing rapprochement, were suspended in 2008 after a South Korean tourist was shot dead for venturing into a restricted military zone.
Seoul has since refused to reopen the tours without an investigation into the incident and proper safety guarantees.
Pyongyang, claiming it has done enough, unilaterally seized South Korean assets there and terminated its deal with Hyundai Asan.