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Seoul Plans to Waive 2010 Sanctions on N. Korea for Cross-Border Tourism

Seoul Plans to Waive 2010 Sanctions on N. Korea for Cross-Border Tourism

Anchor: Seoul has confirmed it will waive sanctions imposed on Pyongyang in 2010 that bans border-crossings by South Koreans. By lifting its own penalty measures on the North, South Korea wants to allow individual trips to Mt. Geumgang as part of a wider campaign to promote inter-Korean relations.
Kim Bum-soo has more. 

Report: The South Korean government is paving the way for its citizens to take personal tours to Mt. Geumgang in North Korea.

[Sound bite: Unification Ministry Spokesman Lee Sang-min (Korean)]
"The government hopes that South Korean citizens can visit North Korea through various forms of tourism, expanding opportunities for inter-Korean private sector exchanges."  

Seoul's Unification Ministry spokesman told reporters Friday that the government can waive strict applications of the May 24 sanctions on North Korea to allow border crossings. 

[Sound bite: Unification Ministry Spokesman Lee Sang-min (Korean)]   
"Previous governments have been flexible on individual trips to North Korea, on a case by case basis. Flexible measures allowed various visits to North Korea for humanitarian purposes, sociocultural exchanges and meetings between authorities." 

After North Korea's torpedo sinking of South Korean warship Cheonan in 2010, the government issued a set of sanctions against the regime, banning inter-Korean trade and cross-border trips. 

The spokesman noted that foreign tourists continue to visit the North while South Koreans are not allowed to cross the border.

As the government moves to disengage from its own penalty measures against North Korea, it is also highlighting that individual tours to North Korea are not subject to UN sanctions. 

Appearing on a local radio program on Thursday, South Korean presidential chief of staff Noh Young-min said cross-border tourism is not bound by international sanctions and can resume at any time.

Noh's remarks come as the Moon administration seeks to resume inter-Korean projects as a means to improve ties and facilitate denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

[Photo : YONHAP News]

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