SEOUL, Nov. 13 (Korea Bizwire) — With media outlets speculating on the possibility of having a helicopter carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong-un land near Baengnokdam Lake on Mt. Halla in Jeju, critics are weighing on the actual feasibility of the plan.
Baengnokdam is a crater situated at the peak of Mt. Halla (1,960 meters above sea level), and measures 1,720 meters in circumference and 108 meters in depth.
Water accumulates within the crater against a picturesque backdrop of lush greenery and prancing roe deer indigenous to the area.
The crater has a special place in the hearts of Koreans as it is the highest elevated area in all of South Korea and thus, along with Mt. Paekdu, symbolizes the geographical sphere of the Korean Peninsula.
Experts say that there is enough space near the crater of Baengnokdam for a helicopter to land and take off.
As part of an academic study of the region, a helicopter landed four times within the crater area in 2016 to drop off researchers and gear.
According to officials that maintain Mt. Halla, the weather between the end of June and October is clear enough that a helicopter could land and depart without being adversely affected by weather conditions.
However, weather conditions could be a factor if Kim’s visit takes place in the winter months, when snowfall is heavy and strong winds would make maneuvering the helicopter a difficult affair.
Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that he was willing to give North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a tour of Mt. Halla, although specific plans have yet to be scheduled.
Moon mentioned the North Korean leader at a hiking session last month during which he climbed Mt. Bugak with Blue House reporters.
During his visit to Pyongyang last month, the South Korean leader traveled to Mount Paekdu’s Heaven Lake in North Korea, a crater similar to the one found on Mt. Halla.
Cho Myoung-gon, the Unification Minister, stated that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s visit to Seoul could possibly take place “within the year” when he spoke to lawmakers earlier in the month.
H. S. Seo (email@example.com)