Pyongyang, June 8 (KCNA) — A spokesman for the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee issued a statement Tuesday in connection with the fact that the number of tourists of Mt. Kumgang has reached one million since its start at a time when a new phase is opening in the process to warm up the north-south relations in the run-up to the fifth anniversary of the historic June 15 North-South Joint Declaration.
The tour of Mt. Kumgang was a nationwide great undertaking as it declared a fresh beginning of the process of reconciliation and unity between the north and the south and paved the way for multi-faceted and broad-based cooperation and exchange, the statement said, and went on:
The tour of Mt. Kumgang was beset with various complicated political and military issues but we opened up the way of tour of Mt. Kumgang, prompted by a bold patriotic decision to meet the ardent desire of the compatriots in south Korea to see the famous mountain of the nation even before the country is reunified.
This made it possible for people from all walks of life in south Korea to cross the Military Demarcation Line, climb the world’s famous Mt. Kumgang they longed to see even in dreams and enjoy its scenic beauty, imbuing them with national pride and self-confidence.
Separated families and relatives who had not heard from each other for decades have had emotion-charged reunions at Mt. Kumgang resort and workers, peasants, women and youth and students held joint functions and seminars for national reunification, laying a firm foundation of national cooperation.
Indeed, the tour of Mt. Kumgang which was started and developed by the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee and the Hyundai Group, guided by the spirit of confidence, instilled a fresh hope for reunification into the fellow countrymen.
This tour led to the reconnection of the East and West coastal railway links and roads and the project of the Kaesong Industrial Zone, opening a new history of rejoining the divided territory and the severed blood ties of the nation.
It brought about at last landmark events such as the historic north-south summit meeting and the publication of the June 15 joint declaration, ushering in an exciting era after the publication of the June 15 joint declaration in which the hot wind of “By our nation itself” is blowing.
The tour of Mt. Kumgang is entering a new phase.
The transportation for tourists had been confined to a sea route in its early period. But it now includes overland travel, making it possible for an increasing number of tourists to travel more quickly and comfortably.
Tourist courses and facilities have been updated to the convenience of visitors.
The tour of Mt. Kumgang was by no means smooth as it was accompanied by an acute confrontation with the anti-reunification forces at home and abroad.
In this course trailblazers in the work for inter-Korean economic cooperation met tragic deaths after being branded as “criminals” at court.
It was a product of the persistent obstructions of the United States and the south Korean ultra-right conservative forces.
But no force on earth could stop the tour of Mt. Kumgang at a time when all Koreans were out for reconciliation, unity, cooperation and exchange.
The tour of Mt. Kumgang started and has continued thanks to the north’s compatriotic resolution and will for national reconciliation and unity. The fact that the number of tourists has reached a million signifies a victory of the patriotic forces for reunification over the traitorous forces for division both in name and reality and a proud fruition of the idea of “By our nation itself,” a product of the above-mentioned era.
The reality clearly proves that no one can quell the aspiration and will of all the fellow countrymen to achieve the peace of the country and its independent reunification by their concerted efforts.
We will as ever reenergize the economic cooperation including the tour of Mt.
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