[THE INVESTOR] Hyundai Group Chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun will visit North Korea on Aug. 3 for a memorial service of her husband Chung Mong-hun, the late former chairman who had spearheaded the group’s North Korean business in the early 2000s.
The group, which is not affiliated with the Korean auto giant Hyundai Motor Group, has held memorial services for Chung on Mount Kumgang every year since his death in 2003, except in 2016 and 2017 when inter-Korean relations remained frozen.
Expectations are high for the chairwoman’s visit to the North in four years amid some recent signs of reconciliation between the two Koreas. Industry sources say Hyun could discuss business resumption with North’s ranking officials who are expected to attend the memorial.
Hyundai Group had been a key partner in a joint tour program at Mount Kumgang on its east coast and the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a manufacturing joint venture located on the border city, both of which have been suspended for years.
In August 2003, Chung, the late chairman, jumped to his death from his office in Seoul amid a scandal over Hyundai’s secret payment of US$599 million to the North before the 2000 inter-Korean summit.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)