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Inter-Korean Tour Talks Held

Korean Central News Agency of DPRK via Korea News Service (KNS)

Pyongyang, February 8 (KCNA) -- An inter-Korean working contact for the resumption of tour of Mt. Kumgang and the Kaesong areas was made in Kaesong on Monday.

At the contact the north side referred to the fact that it has so far made sincere efforts for the tour of Mt. Kumgang and the Kaesong area, a symbol of the inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation.

When there occurred a "Mt. Kumgang tourist incident", the north side immediately expressed regret, regardless of its circumstances and made a detailed clarification of the truth about it.

A particular mention should be made of the fact that the north side took a bold measure to solve all the issues raised by the chairwoman of Hyundai Group of south Korea during her visit to Pyongyang last August, and officially made public with the group a joint press release guaranteeing the safety of south side's tourists.

There are neither reason nor conditions hindering the resumption of tour of Mt. Kumgang and the Kaesong area as the north side already clarified the truth behind the incident and firmly guaranteed at a high level the non-recurrence of similar incident and the safety of south side's tourists.

The north side urged the south side to retract all the unjust preconditions if it is truly interested in the resumption of the tour.

The north side, with a view to resuming the tour as soon as possible and bringing about a turning phase in the improvement of the inter-Korean relations, presented a draft agreement containing its positive proposal to resume the tour of the Kaesong area from the 1st of March and the tour of Mt. Kumgang from the 1st of April and called on the south side to affirmatively respond to it.

However, the south side, far from accepting the north side's sincere proposal, let loose a tirade about "three conditions" and the like and made a far-fetched assertion that it is impossible to resume the tour unless they are met. It deliberately created complexity in the discussion, behaving so arrogantly that it perpetrated such indiscreet act as "praying silently."

By speaking with perfect logic and citing facts the north side chided the south side for insisting on its arrogant and insincere attitude and far-fetched assertion, making such irrelevant remarks as "probe into truth" and resorting to delaying tactics. It made every possible positive effort to reach an agreement on the issue of resuming the tour.

The south side, however, persistently insisted on its wrong assertion and dodged the discussion on the issue, spelling out the word "study" in the end but refused to fix the date for the next contact.

At the contact both sides thus failed to reach any agreement due to the insincere attitude on the part of the south side.

They agreed to further consultations about the issue of resuming the tour in the days ahead.

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