February 8, 2018 / 8:05 AM / 12 days ago

South Korea says can discuss resuming tourism to the North when nuclear, other conditions met

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s unification ministry said on Thursday it would be open to discuss resuming tours to North Korea’s Mt Kumgang once the security of tourists was guaranteed and conditions relating to North Korea’s nuclear programme are met.

“We see Mt Kumgang tours as a project which holds an importance for inter-Korean relations,” the ministry said in a written statement to Reuters.

South Korean tours to the Mt Kumgang resort were closed after a South Korean tourist was shot by a North Korean guard there in 2008.

The ministry also said now was not the time to discuss reopening the Kaesong Industrial Park, a joint factory complex closed by South Korea in 2016 in protest over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

Kaesong will be discussed ”when the North Korean nuclear issue has to some extent entered a phase of a resolution”, the ministry said.

A delegation of North Korean officials including the younger sister of leader Kim Jong Un and the North’s nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam, will visit South Korea for the opening of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics that begin formally on Friday.

Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Lincoln Feast

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