If they stick to their plans, then a whole new area in North Korea’s east coast will be developed as a tourist destination by 2025. The investors, Hyundai Asan plan to pump in $3 billion to the venture. Hyundai Asan is the North Korean business arm of the South Korean Hyundai Group. The area to be developed starts from the North’s eastern port city of Wonsan to Haegeumgang near Mt. Geumgang, where the company built a mountain resort in 1998. Mount Geumgang is located just north of the border between the two Koreas near the east coast. This place has attracted more than 1.5 million visitors since 1998. The proposal is being reviewed by North Korea at the time and in due course it should hopefully be approved.
One cannot forget the murky past of the earlier project when the present Chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun’s husband Chung Mong-hun, (the late founder’s son), committed suicide by jumping from the window of his high-rise office in Seoul. Rumor has it that he was under pressure from a lobbying scandal involving the North Korean mountain project.