North Korea has rejected cooperation with the South on Mount Kumgang (pictured) while militarizing an adjacent port, according to satellite images. File Photo by Jeon Heon-kyun/EPA-EFE
Nov. 27 (UPI) -- North Korea is militarizing a port that was once the destination of South Korean tourists traveling to the North's Mount Kumgang resort, according to a press report.
New military facilities can be seen at the North Korean port of Jangjon, a former stopover for South Koreans, Seoul Economic Daily reported Wednesday.
Satellite imagery analysis also indicates an increase in the number of warships at the port.
Jangjon was used as a military base before 1998, when the North permitted South Korean tourists and investments at the port, an entry point to Mount Kumgang.
South Koreans were allowed to visit the region until 2008, when a South Korean tourist was fatally shot by North Korean guards.
On Wednesday, South Korean unification ministry spokesman Lee Sang-min said the government is "keeping an eye on the situation in close cooperation and consultation" with partners.
North Korea recently returned to military hostilities at the border. On Monday, the regime said its army engaged in the practice firing of artillery near a disputed maritime border with the South.
South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo told a parliamentary judiciary committee on Wednesday the South Korean military is "managing the situation" in order to prevent the North from "crossing a line," Yonhap reported.
Jeong said the denuclearization of North Korea is the most important task, while South Korea and the United States maintain "solid military preparedness and a combined defense posture," according to the report.
The defense minister also said the artillery was likely fired on Saturday, between 10:30 and 10:40 a.m., local time, when "minor sound waves" were detected.
North Korea's first vice foreign minister Choe Son Hui recently met with Russian diplomats in Moscow.
Following the meeting, the Russian foreign ministry briefed U.S. special envoy on North Korea Stephen Biegun about the meeting, according to Yonhap on Wednesday.