December 19, 2014 12:27
The Christian Council of Korea has given up on an attempt to put up a new Christmas tree on top of Aegibong Peak to twinkle a message of consumerism and born-again Christianity across the border to North Korea.
The old structure, a massive steel skeleton near Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province that lit up every festive season, was dismantled for safety reasons in October.
A Defense Ministry official on Thursday the organization "seems to have felt troubled by opposition from local people and the Gimpo city government."
Since the military dismantled the old structure, the council has made several efforts to restore it, including filing a petition with the ministry. Recently it announced a plan to set up a 9 m-tall Christmas tree with the ministry's approval at the exact location where the old one stood.
But the city government was worried that North Korea could take pot shots at the tree and cited unspecified "economic damage," presumably to tourism.
Discussions between the council and city officials and civic groups about a compromise solution came to nothing.
The North has repeatedly threatened to shoot at the tree, which used to sparkle brightly even as the lights in North Korea went out due to constant electricity shortages.
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