South, North Koreans Talk of Tourism Venture

Associated Press

The founder of South Korea's largest conglomerate has agreed with North Korea to join in developing a tourist resort in the communist north and projects in the Soviet Union, North Korea's official media said Wednesday.

Chung Joo-young, 74, honorary chairman and founder of the Hyundai Group, was the first South Korean business leader reported to visit North Korea with the approval of both the South Korean and North Korean governments since the division of the Korean peninsula in 1945.

The Korean Central News Agency, monitored in Tokyo, said the agreement came when Chung met with Choe Su Gil, director of North Korea's Taesong Bank and consultant to the Korean Assn. for the Promotion of Asian Trade.

The agency said Chung, 74, left Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, by plane Wednesday after a 10-day visit.

Chung, whose native town of Tongchon is in the north, was invited by the North Korean government.

The agency gave few details on the joint venture agreements, which it said proceeded "from the common desire to strengthen cooperation between the North and the South and promote the peaceful reunification of the country."

It said Chung and Choe reached an agreement in principle on jointly developing North Korea's Mount Kumgang area.

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