1118 A look into a key inter-Korean project: Mt. Geumgang tours

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Video Discription: 21 years ago on this November 18th, a deluxe cruise ship departed from the South Korean port of Donghae and set sail for the first cruise to Mount Geumgang in North Korea.
It was the first people-to-people exchange between the two Koreas after more than 50 years of separation.
The program, however, got suspended in 2008 after a North Korean soldier shot dead a South Korean tourist who had unknowingly wandered into a military area.
Once regarded as a symbol of reconciliation between the Koreas: our correspondent in charge of North Korean affairs, Oh Jung-hee takes us through the 21 years of ups and downs.
Located along the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, Mount Geumgang is a celebrated mountain for the Korean nation, recognized for its long history and dazzling natural beauty.
But because Korea was divided after the Korean War and the mountain was located north of the border, South Korean citizens couldn't visit.
But, in 1998, things changed.
Chung Ju-yung, the founder of South Korea's Hyundai Group, went to North Korea and signed an agreement with North Korea's Asia Pacific Peace Committee to develop the Mount Geumgang area and run a tour program.
Chung taking 500 heads of cattle north of the border is a well-known episode in modern Korean history.
Later that year, on November 18th, South Korean tours to Mount Geumgang officially began.
It marked a historic start with a cruise ship named Geumgang carrying over 800 South Koreans to the mountain via sea.
In 2002, Mount Geumgang resort became the venue for the reunions of South and North Korean families separated by the Korean War...
and travelling to the site by land route was enabled in 2003.
But in 2008, a South Korean tourist was shot dead by a North Korean soldier, prompting Seoul to immediately stop the tours.
In 2010, North Korea froze South Korea's assets there,...
and cancelled Hyundai Group's exclusive business rights.
Mount Geumgang tours were a symbol of inter-Korean cooperation.
Before the tours were halted, 200 to 300 thousand South Koreans visited the mountain annually... and the total number of South Korean visitors since 1998 reached almost 2 million.
Seoul says... the mountain itself holds significance not only as a tourist area, but also as a place where war-torn families meet and social exchanges happen.
At their summit in Pyeongyang in September last year, the leaders of the two Koreas agreed to normalize Mount Geumgang tours as conditions are met.
And through his New Year's Address this year, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said... he was willing to resume the tours without any precondition or price.
But despite the strong will, restarting the inter-Korean tour project has not been easy.
In terms of sanctions.
The tours themselves do not violate the sanctions,
but the transfer of "bulk cash" to the regime which is highly probable once tours resume is strictly banned under UN resolutions.
Now, since North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered the removal of South Korean faciliti

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