Seoul - It's a mountain resort with a difference. Visitors to North Korea's Mount Kumgang can revel in the beauty of scenic valleys, waterfalls and temples just a few miles from the heavily militarized border that divides the Korean Peninsula.
At least, that's how the thinking went. Opened in 1999 and envisioned by North Korea as a destination for foreign tourists, especially South Koreans, the resort became a symbol of cross-border engagement amid often-fraught relations.
Families separated by the Korean War held reunions there. South Korean firms invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the project. But since the South pulled out in 2008, after one of its citizens was killed by a North Korean soldier, the resort has languished as a virtual ghost town.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has since instructed officials to remove "shabby" and "unpleasant-looking" South Korean facilities from Mount Kumgang, state media reported.