N.Korea wants Mt. Kumgang on Unesco list

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Pyongyang, Aug 7 (IANS) North Korea is trying to include Mount Kumgang on the Unesco Biosphere Reserve list, the state media reported Monday.

An official from the North Korean Biodiversity Institute told KCTV that Pyongyang has already completed its proposal to get the mountain registered in the list, which promotes conservation of environmental fauna and flora and sustainable development.

“We are making efforts to develop a new field of ecotourism and apply it to the real world,” said the official.

North Korea is looking to boost its tourism industry — especially in the province of Kangwon, running from the coastal town of Wonsan to the Kumgang National Park — to increase its foreign-exchange earnings amid growing sanctions against the country over its continued weapons testing, reports Efe news.

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Four North Korean mountains are already on the Unesco Biosphere Reserve list, including Mount Paektu and Mount Myohyang.

Kumgang also has a hotel complex jointly developed by the two Koreas and in the past had allowed South Koreans to visit.

The Seoul government banned organised trips to the resort after a South Korean tourist died there from shots fired by North Korean soldiers, who said that the woman had entered a restricted area and fled when she was asked to stop.

Faced with South Korea’s refusal to resume the tours, the Kim Jong-un regime has completely taken over the complex.



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