Taepung Investment Group outlines new Kumgang business plan

According to Yonhap:

North Korea unveiled Sunday its business plans to redevelop a troubled mountain resort in the isolated country, after seizing South Korean properties in the complex once considered a symbol of inter-Korean reconciliation.

The move is expected to further deepen the dispute over the resort at Mount Kumgang, with South Korea vowing to take all possible measures, including legal action with an international tribunal, against the North’s decision to “legally dispose” of Seoul-owned assets there.

The business plans were presented to Yonhap News Agency by Park Chol-su, head of Daepung International Investment Group, which serves as a window to North Korea to attract foreign capital.

Daepung invited this week a group of foreign business executives and journalists to the resort to explain the business plans. During the four-day trip beginning Sunday, the group will visit Mount Kumgang via ship after departing from the northeastern port city of Rason.

The plans call for North Korea to redevelop the resort into an international tourist and business zone by building golf courses and hosting casinos from China and Western nations.

Using a railway linking Beijing to Pyongyang and the resort, North Korea plans to attract tourists from the United States, Japan, China and Hong Kong, Park said.

The North is also seeking to run tours linking Rason and Mount Kumgang by ferry, with an eye to woo Chinese tourists.

Under the first-stage plan, the North’s state agency will build energy and electricity facilities at an area of 60 square meters in the resort and let foreign business partners develop part of the area with their own projects, Park said.

North Korea plans to collect taxes from foreign partners to operate their facilities, according to Park. The area will be open to foreigners, but remain off-limits to ordinary North Koreans.

Additional Information:

1. According to the JoongAng Ilbo, the ship that will be used to ferry travelers from Rason to Kosong (Changjon) is the Mangyongbong 92. The ship will have to use a dock built by Hyundai-Asan. Hyundai is known to have spent around 170 billion won ($157,000) on the pier and the roads linking the pier to the resort.

2. The Daily NK adds a few additional details on the investment zone.

3. A timeline of Kumgang events, from the shooting until today, can be found here.

Read the full story here:
N. Korea unveils business plans for troubled mountain resort
Yonhap
2011-8-28

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