Mount Kumgang Tourist Region

Mount Kumgang Tourist Region
Korean transcription(s)
  Revised Romanization Geumgangsan Gwan-gwang Jigu
  McCune–Reischauer Kŭmgangsan Kwan'gwang Chigu
Short name transcription(s)
  Revised Romanization Geumgangsan
  McCune–Reischauer Kŭmgangsan
Country North Korea
Region Yeongdong
  Type Tourist Region*
  Total 530 km2 (200 sq mi)
Dialect Kangwŏn

The Mount Kumgang Tourist Region is a special administrative region of North Korea. It was established in 2002 to handle South Korean tourist traffic to Mount Kumgang (Diamond Mountain).

Since 1998, South Korean and other foreign tourists have been allowed to visit Mount Kumgang, traveling at first by cruise ship, but more recently by bus on a newly built road through the Korean Demilitarized Zone. In 2002, the area around the mountain was separated from Kangwon Province and organized as a separately administered Tourist Region, covering 204.6 square miles (530 km2).[1] Since 1998 over one million South Koreans have visited the resort.

In July 2008, Park Wang-ja, a 53-year-old South Korean tourist, was shot twice and killed when she entered a military area, according to the North Korean government.[2] The South Korean request for a joint inquiry was denied. Forensic tests done on Wang-ja suggest that she was standing still or walking slowly when shot. This contradicted the North Korean claim that she was running and did not heed warnings. Immediately after the shooting, the South Korean government temporarily suspended tours to the resort. In August 2008 the North Koreans announced that they would expel "unnecessary" South Korean workers from the resort.[3] Before the closing of access after the 2008 shooting, a few Americans were also allowed to visit, by arranging 2½-day tours through a South Korean tourism agency.

Despite the Lee Myung-bak government expressing a verbal anti-North Korean stance, the head of the government-funded Korea Institute for National Unification, Kim Tae-u, proposed that the South Korean government renegotiate on the Mount Kumgang Tourist Region with North Korea without any official apology on North Korea's military actions towards the ROKS Cheonan sinking and the Bombardment of Yeonpyeong.[4]

See also


  1. Korea Post: Kŭmgangsan
  2. ROK woman tourist shot dead at DPRK resort. China Daily. July 12, 2008
  3. N Korea steps up row with South, BBC News Online, August 3, 2008
  4. 김태우, "천안함 사과 없어도 금강산 협상해야". The Korean Herald (in Korean). 2012-01-03. Retrieved 2012-01-03.

Coordinates: 38°41′17″N 128°12′01″E / 38.68806°N 128.20028°E / 38.68806; 128.20028

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