Mount Kumgang, whose name is Korean for “Diamond,” has been a site for rare moments of reconciliation between citizens of the two countries, who are still technically at war.
An official with the South Korean Unification Ministry told CNN they have seen what appears to be “dismantling activity” at multiple locations on Mount Kumgang.
The news comes months after unconfirmed reports suggested buildings in the complex had been demolished.
Located at the foot of Kumgang Mountain, Onjonggak Rest House is where the much-discussed reunions of separated families from South and North have taken place before.
Also listed as possibly destroyed recently this week was Hyundai Asan’s office in Kumgang. The South Korean company was responsible for managing the tourist area.
“Mount Kumgang tours enhanced inter-Korean reconciliation and served as a pivotal point for inter-Korean exchange,” Hyundai Asan spokesman Park Sung-uk previously told CNN.
The world’s first floating hotel was built in Australia and eventually ended up in Kumgang.
Hyundai Asan Corporation
In addition, North Korea started dismantling the famous Hotel Haegumgang in April. Once a luxury resort hovering over Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the hotel was relocated to Kumgang and opened to tourists in 2000.
The official also said they are closely monitoring whether North Korea will demolish the family reunion center and the Kumgang community center, adding that they cannot confirm this information yet.
Located about 30 minutes north of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the Kumgang resort was jointly operated by the two Koreas.
It stopped welcoming tourists in 2008 after a North Korean soldier shot and killed a South Korean woman who was walking along the borders of the Mount Kumgang tourist area and in a military zone.
North Korea reportedly plans to replace all structures on Mount Kumgang with new ones, possibly indicating their government plans to manage and control the resort area without any help from its southern neighbor.
Jacopo Prisco reported.