Open main menu

The Mount Kumgang Tourist Region is a special administrative region of North Korea. It was established in 2002 to handle South Korean tourist traffic to Mount Kumgang (Diamond Mountain).

Mount Kumgang Tourist Region
special administrative region of North Korea
Korean transcription(s)
 • Hangul
 • Hanja
 • Revised RomanizationGeumgangsan Gwan-gwang Jigu
 • McCune–ReischauerKŭmgangsan Kwan'gwang Chigu
Short name transcription(s)
 • Hangul
 • Hanja
 • Revised RomanizationGeumgangsan
 • McCune–ReischauerKŭmgangsan
Kumgangsan in North Korea 2010.svg
CountryNorth Korea
 • TypeTourist Region*
 • Total530 km2 (200 sq mi)

Beginning in 1998, South Korean and other foreign tourists were allowed to visit Mount Kumgang, traveling at first by cruise ship,[citation needed] but more recently by bus on a newly built road through the Korean Demilitarized Zone. In 2002, the area around the mountain was separated from Kangwon Province and organized as a separately administered Tourist Region, covering 204.6 square miles (530 km2).[1] Since 1998 over one million South Koreans have visited the resort. The resort is home to Hotel Haegumgang, a floating hotel that first operated on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.[2]

In July 2008, Park Wang-ja, a 53-year-old South Korean tourist, was shot twice and killed when she entered a military area, according to the North Korean government.[3] The South Korean request for a joint inquiry was denied. Forensic tests done on Park suggest that she was standing still or walking slowly when shot. This contradicted the North Korean claim that she was running and did not heed warnings. Immediately after the shooting, the South Korean government suspended tours to the resort. In August 2008 the North Koreans announced that they would expel "unnecessary" South Korean workers from the resort.[4] Before the closing of access after the 2008 shooting, other nationalities were also allowed to visit, by arranging 2½-day tours through a South Korean tourism agency.

Despite the Lee Myung-bak government expressing a verbal anti-North Korean stance, the head of the government-funded Korea Institute for National Unification, Kim Tae-u, proposed that the South Korean government renegotiate on the Mount Kumgang Tourist Region with North Korea without any official apology on North Korea's military actions towards the ROKS Cheonan sinking and the Bombardment of Yeonpyeong.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Korea Post: Kŭmgangsan
  2. ^ Smith, Carol (14 June 2018). "The bizarre story of Australia's floating hotel and its 14,000km round journey to North Korea". ABC.
  3. ^ ROK woman tourist shot dead at DPRK resort. China Daily. July 12, 2008
  4. ^ N Korea steps up row with South, BBC News Online, August 3, 2008
  5. ^ 김태우, "천안함 사과 없어도 금강산 협상해야". The Korean Herald (in Korean). 2012-01-03. Retrieved 2012-01-03.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 38°41′17″N 128°12′01″E / 38.68806°N 128.20028°E / 38.68806; 128.20028