N. Korea seizes S. Korean assets at joint resort

North Korea seized all South Korean-owned assets in a jointly-run resort in the North on Monday and ordered all South Koreans to leave, state media said, in a move that will raise already simmering tensions.

"All assets owned by South Korean companies in Mount Kumgang resort are banned from being taken out as of August 21," the official Korean Central News Agency said.

Files photo taken on November 29, 2007 shows the Kumgang Reunion Centre under construction at North Korea's Mount Kumgang resort

It ordered all South Koreans to leave the resort "within 72 hours", blaming Seoul for a stalled tourism programme suspended for past three years.

"We consider that the South has completely given up all rights on properties owned by South Korean companies and now start legal disposal of them," KCNA said in a statement.

The South suspended tours by its citizens, operated by Seoul-based Hyundai Asan, after a North Korean soldier shot dead a South Korean tourist who had strayed into a restricted military zone there in July 2008.

It has said it will not restart them until the North allows an on-site investigation into the shooting and gives firm safety guarantees, demands Pyongyang has refused


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