Seoul on Tuesday proposed to Pyongyang that the two Koreas discuss on Oct. 2 a possible resumption of package tours to Mt. Kumgang.
South Korea originally wanted the talks to take place earlier, on Sept. 25, but changed its mind because it worries that Pyongyang will try to use reunions of families separated by the Korean War, which are slated for the same week, as leverage in negotiations.
A Unification Ministry official said, "We concluded that it would be technically better to delay the Mt. Kumgang talks by about a week to avoid coinciding with the family reunions."
Pyongyang wanted the talks to take place in late August or early September, even before the family reunions.
Meanwhile, Seoul decided to send 56 Red Cross officials and tour operator Hyundai Asan staffers to check the facilities in Mt. Kumgang resort on Wednesday and Thursday to prepare for the family reunions.