Korea Unrest

Hyundai Merchant Marine’s new cruise venture has once again run afoul of the North and South Koreans’ on-again-off-again political relationship. The company had finally gotten all three of its ships in service when tensions erupted. Remarkably, a naval battle in the Yellow Sea between the two countries didn’t halt the cruise tours, perhaps because they are so financially lucrative for North Korea – which is paid $10 million a month by Hyundai. But the tours were halted shortly thereafter by South Korea when a South Korean tourist was detained at Mt. Kumgang on June 20. The tourist was accused of attempting to pursuade a North Korean tour guide to defect. She was finally released on June 25, but the South Korean government asserted that the tourism project could not resume until tourists were protected from such detentions in the future.  

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