July 15 (UPI) -- A North Korea state-owned travel agency is promoting tourism to Mount Kumgang, the resort where a South Korean tourist was fatally shot in 2008.
The Choson Mount Kumgang International Travel Agency uploaded previously unseen photos of mountain and rock formations to its website Wednesday, promoting the mountain's unique features.
South Korean tourism to the North never completely resumed after the 2008 incident. In January, South Korean President Moon Jae-in proposed allowing individuals to travel to the North, but the coronavirus pandemic may have postponed Seoul's plans.
The North Korean travel agency also publicized tourism to the mountain on July 4, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap and Seoul Economic Daily.
The promotional message included "interview excerpts" from Chinese and Singaporean travelers and a statement from the travel agency welcoming future tourists to the area.
In 2019, Xi instructed Chinese travel agencies to increase the number of tourists to the North to 5 million people a year, a figure that would "even out" the 4.78 million Chinese travelers to South Korea annually, according to the Asahi Shimbun last year.
In the South, politicians of the ruling Democratic Party are calling for the resumption of South Korean tourism to the North, as COVID-19 subsides in the country.
Lawmaker Sul Hoon said last week the "most realistic means" of improving inter-Korea relations is to pursue independent tourism, or allowing solo South Korean travelers to take trips to the North, according to Seoul Economic Daily.
Sul also said newly appointed Unification Minister Lee In-young has proposed greater independence on inter-Korea policy decisions. In January, U.S. Ambassador Harry Harris said South Korea's North Korea initiatives "should be done in consultation with the United States," which drew a rebuke from Moon's office.