North Korea is threatening to sell off hotels, restaurants and other South Korean owned property worth US$284 million at the Mount Kumgang resort. The resort was built by the South’s Hyundai Asan company as a reconciliation project designed to generate foreign earnings for Pyongyang. However the initiative turned sour when Seoul banned tours by its citizens after a tourist was shot dead in 2008. The South will not relinquish the ban unless the North allows a full investigation. After establishing a Kunming tourism agency last year, Pyonyang has taken measures to sell South-owned assets to foreign investors. To retain ownership investors must rejoin the programme or otherwise sell, transfer or lease their properties to authorities in the North.
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