S.Korean Gov writes to Pence over inter-Korean tour programme

US Vice President Mike Pence

Seoul, ┬áThe Governor of South Korea’s Gangwon province that borders North Korea, said on Monday that he has sent a letter to US Vice President Mike Pence asking help for the resumption of the suspended inter-Korean tour programme in Mount Kumgang.

Governor Choi Moon-soon told the media here that the letter was delivered to the White House during his recent trip to Washington for restarting the halted project, reports Xinhua news agency.

Through the letter, Choi also asked Pence to help South Koreans tour the North Korean Wonsan tourist zone, expected to open next year, if the Mount Kumgang programmed was hard to be resumed in the near future because of the international sanctions.

Pence had attended the opening ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics that was held last February in PyeongChang, Gangwon province.

North Korea had sent its athletes and cheering squad to the South Korea-hosted winter sports event, becoming a starting point to the inter-Korean summits and the first-ever North Korea-US summit last year.

The tour by South Koreans to Mount Kumgang, launched in 1998, has been suspended since a South Korean female tourist was shot dead in 2008 by a North Korean soldier after she allegedly ventured into off-limit areas.

North Koreanleader Kim Jong-un said last month that he would welcome the South Korean compatriots at any time if they want to come to Mount Kumgang.

Kim ordered the removal of South Korea-built “shabby” facilities in Mount Kumgang in an agreement with the relevant unit of the South Koran side.