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Hyundai May Build Plant in N.Korea

October 10, 1999

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ Hyundai group officials will visit North Korea this week to discuss a plan to build a large-scale industrial park in the reclusive communist country, company officials said Sunday.

The 20-member delegation will arrive in the North on Saturday for a 10-day visit to conduct field research on several candidate towns on North Korea’s southwest coast, close to border with South Korea, they said.

The announcement was made after Chung Ju-yung, founder and honorary chairman of the Hyundai group, received approval for the plan from North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during his five-day visit to the North earlier this month.

Hyundai plans to relocate 800 to 900 garment plants, assembly plants for cars, televisions and other electronic products and use surplus South Korean electricity for the factories.

The plan reflects the growing business links between North Korea and the largest South Korean conglomerate. Under a $942 million deal, Hyundai launched a sightseeing cruise of a scenic North Korean mountain in November.

Relations between the two Koreas remain largely frozen because of political and military tensions. They are still technically at war, having signed no peace treaty at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

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