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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

DPRK to Freeze S. Korean Assets in Mt. Kumgang

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

Pyongyang, April 23 (KCNA) -- A spokesman for the General Guidance Bureau for the Development of Scenic Spots of the DPRK issued the following statement Friday:

The DPRK recently took such a bold measure of freezing five useless real estates of the south side in the Mt. Kumgang Tourist Zone as the first-phase measure to cope with the grave situation where there was no hope of resuming the tour due to the south Korean authorities' vicious moves to escalate the confrontation with the DPRK and their insincere attitude.

This was a quite natural exercise of its sovereignty and an entirely legitimate application of sanctions in full line with not only the inter-Korean relations but international practice and norms.

We have so far made every sincere effort for the resumption of tour and shown broad magnanimity till the last moment the tour was put on the verge of collapse.

The south side, however, far from giving due consideration to our sincerity and magnanimity and repenting of and apologizing for its criminal moves, behaved more arrogantly, crying out for "lifting the above-said measures." It went the lengths of blatantly challenging us, talking about "a countermeasure" only to remind one of a thief crying "Stop the thief!"

Minister of Unification of south Korea Hyon In Thaek went so foolish as to threaten the DPRK while blustering that the south will "strongly react to the north" if it takes additional freezing measures. Traitor Lee Myung Bak made no scruple of impudently defiling even the function for commemorating the Day of the Sun, not content with getting hell-bent on escalating confrontation with the DPRK.

The puppet group went the lengths of crying out for the total severance of the north-south relations and trumpeting about "not ruling out a war" while deliberately linking the sinking of its warship to the DPRK.

The situation has reached such extreme phase that it is at the crossroads of a war or peace, much less thinking of the resumption of the tour.

It is quite natural that we can no longer show generosity and tolerance to the south side under this situation.

April during which we have kept the door for the resumption of tour open has almost passed.

The number of new businessmen hoping to deal with the tour of Mt. Kumgang is on the steady increase.

It is self-evident that the DPRK, land of famous scenic spots, can not remain idle at this golden tourist season due to the puppet group.

We will take resolute steps for punishment in succession as already clarified now that the puppet group is persistently standing in the way of resuming the tour.

The General Guidance Bureau for the Development of Scenic Spots of the DPRK is authorized by a relevant organ to solemnly declare that it embarks upon implementing the following second-phase measures as a follow-up of the first-phase measures to freeze the real estates of the south side in the Mt. Kumgang Tourist Zone:

First, we will confiscate the Mt. Kumgang Reunion Center and the fire brigade belonging to the south Korean authorities and a cultural center, a hot spring resort, tax exemption office and two other objects belonging to the Tourist Company of south Korea which had already been frozen in compensation for the damage the north side suffered due to the suspension of the tour for a long period.

The confiscated real estates will be put into the possession of the DPRK or handed over to new businessmen according to legal procedures.

Second, we will freeze all the remaining real estates of the south side in the Mt. Kumgang Tourist Zone and expel all their management personnel.

The steps for freezing and confiscating the real estates of the south side in the zone were taken due to the puppet group and the blame for them rests with the south Korean authorities.

It is tragedy and disgrace, indeed, that south Koreans' tour of Mt. Kumgang which had been under way amid the concern and joy of all the fellow countrymen at home and abroad for a decade is set to be totally blocked by the Lee Myung Bak conservative group.

The south Koreans and all other members of the nation will always curse the Lee Myung Bak group of traitors for having derailed the tour of Mt. Kumgang which brought them hope for reunification.

We will take more rigid follow-up measures in case the puppet group goes reckless while vociferating about "strong reaction" to the legitimate steps taken by the DPRK.

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