DPRK condemns South Korea for blocking resumption of border tours

10:03, March 20, 2010      

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The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) issued a detailed report Friday condemning South Korea for suspending tours in the Mt. Kumgang and Kaesong border areas.

The report, released by the General Scenic Spots Development Guidance Bureau of DPRK, said South Korean accusations against the DPRK army over the fatal shooting of a South Korean tourist in July 2008 while she was touring in DPRK's Mt. Kumgang area was "preposterous and brazenfaced."

The report attributed the incident to "the carelessness of the victim in every respect”and said the responsibility rested on the side of South Korea which "failed to properly take care of its tourists”.

It said three preconditions put forth by the Ministry of Unification of South Korea for reopening the border tours in Mt. Kumgang and Kaesong areas were only a "pretext" for blocking the resumtption of the border tours between the two sides.

The report warned the denial of the resumption of the border tours meant a denial of the inter-Korean relations and the north-south joint declaration as well as a denial of reconciliation, unity and reunification.

In July 2008, Park Wang-ja, a female South Korean tourist in her 50s, was reportedly fatally shot by a DPRK sentinel after she wandered into a restricted zone in Mt. Kumgang area, and the DPRK side rejected a request from South Korea for an on-site probe following the incident.

As a result, the South Korean side suspended tours by its people to Mt. Kumgang and another historic border town of Kaesong in the DPRK, leading to a deterioration of the releationship bewteen the two sides.

In January, the DPRK proposed talks on reopening the border tours, but the proposal has apparently not received a positive response from the South Korean side.

Source: Xinhua
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