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DPRK to resume tourism projects with South Korean Hyundai

PYONGYANG, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) agreed to resume tourism projects on Mt. Kumgang and Kaesong with South Korean Hyundai Group and allow land passage through the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) from the south side, the official KCNA said on Monday, citing a joint press release.

The press release, issued by the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee and the Hyundai Group of South Korea, said Kim Jong Il, top leader of the DPRK, met and had a talk with Hyun Jong Eun, chairwoman of the Hyundai Group of South Korea, and "complied with all her requests."

They decided to resume the suspended tourism of Mt. Kumgang as soon as possible and launch the tour of Pirobong, the highest peak in the mountain. "All necessary facilities and security for tourism will be reliably provided according to the special measure taken by Kim Jong Il," the press release said.

They also decided to restore land passage of the south side's personnel through the MDL and their stay in the north side's area. The resumption of the tourism to Kaesong and the operation of the Kaesong Industrial Park will soon follow up.

The DPRK agreed to reopen family reunions in Mt. Kumgang on the Mid-autumn Festival (October 3).

Hyundai has been a flagship business partner of the DPRK, having invested millions of dollars in Kaesong and a joint tourism project. Mounting tension has halted the tourism project since July 2008.

Hyun Jung Eun came to Pyongyang on August 10 and negotiated the release of a Hyundai employee who had been detained for months by the DPRK.

Hyun, 54, is the widow of Chung Mong Hun, son of Hyundai Group founder Chung Ju Yung. She last met the DPRK top leader in 2005.

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