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Korean travel agency to sell hotel in South Korea, hire staff

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Seoul, South Korea — Capital Travel Agency, a Korean travel service provider, said Wednesday it will sell its hotel business in South Korean cities and open a new one in the United States.

The company is the latest to leave the country since the North Korean regime took over, with many other companies looking to take advantage of the trade and business opportunities that exist in the country.

In July, it said it would close its hotel operations in Seoul and in Pyongyang, and it is currently the only hotel operator in the city of Busan.

Capital Travel, a subsidiary of Korea Travel Group, said in a statement that the move will “enhance the quality of our services and create new opportunities for us to serve our clients in the US and around the world.”

 Korean travel agents and hoteliers said they were pleased with the news.

“We are looking forward to opening the new American hotel in downtown Miami, where we have been providing a high-quality experience since 2014,” said Lee Jae-dae, the chief executive of Capital Travel Group.

The new American resort will have the same name as the company’s existing hotel in the U.S., and will be open on a first-come, first-served basis, said Jang-hun Lee, a spokesman for the Korean Travel Association.

Lee said the new hotel will be opened by the end of this year, with plans to open it in 2018.

North Korea’s new leadership has been trying to modernize the country and boost its tourism industry, including increasing the number of international travelers by about 300 percent since the late 1990s.

In June, the North banned international travel and cut off access to North Korean tourists.

Kim Jong Un, the new leader, has been seeking to revive the economy, and he has been pushing for a strong South Korean-U.S. alliance.

South Korean officials said the company had been looking to expand to the United Kingdom and other European countries, as well as the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Lee and other officials said they expected the new North Korean hotel to be fully operational by mid-August.