North Korea demolished eight buildings of a South Korean-built golf resort on Mount Kumgang without first notifying the South Korean government. The Unification Ministry has twice requested an explanation from the North via the inter-Korean liaison hotline, but the North remains silent. Following a series of missile provocations, North Korea escalates tensions on the Korean peninsula by demolishing facilities built by South Korea.
The Voice of America (VOA) reported on Tuesday (local time) that North Korea had demolished South Korea’s facilities at Ananti Golf and Spa Resort in Mt. Kumgang. Satellite images taken by Planet Labs on Saturday showed that the roofs and exterior walls of eight buildings, including those in the center and periphery of the station, have all been dismantled. It was confirmed by the photos taken earlier that the North began to dismantle the buildings in the center of the station from around April 10. It took a week for the North to demolish all the station buildings. Nick Hansen, a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, said he had no idea how the North was able to demolish the buildings so quickly, adding that he would have could use a bulldozer.
South Korean resort company Ananti has invested about 92.5 billion won to build the Mount Kumgang golf resort, which opened in 2008, on land leased from Hyundai Asan. Operation of the resort was halted two months later, however, as inter-Korean relations soured after South Korean tourist Park Wang-ja was shot dead by a North Korean soldier. It was found that the Haegumgang Hotel, which was operated by Hyundai Asan, had also been dismantled. The seven-story hotel was torn down to one to three stories, according to VOA.
Despite its rapid demolition of South Korean facilities, North Korea still does not respond to South Korea’s request for dialogue.
Ji-Sun Choi [email protected]