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Koreas to reopen Kaesong Industrial complex
September 10, 2013, 10:47 pm

Some 53,000 North Korean workers are expected to return to Kaesong on September 16 [Xinhua]

Some 53,000 North Korean workers are expected to return to Kaesong on September 16 [Xinhua]

South Korea and its northern rival the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPR Korea) on Wednesday reached an agreement to fully reopen the Kaesong industrial complex, following two rounds of talks.

The Kaesong Industrial Complex was established in 2004 as an attempt to bring the two Koreas closer through cross-border cooperation and employing 53,000 North Korean workers.

But Kaesong was shut down in April after tensions between Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington peaked over the former’s launching of upgraded missiles and the latter holding joint military exercises.

Joint exercises between South Korea and the US have long been a source of contention for North Korea. As the two Koreas are still technically at war in the absence of a comprehensive peace treaty, Pyongyang considers the presence of 28,5000 US troops in the southern side of the peninsula a threat.

The North Korean Policy Department of the National Defense Commission has called the joint drills “hostile acts and military provocations”.

In previous announcements, North Korea has said ending the exercises was a precondition to reopening diplomatic channels to resume talks with the US and its southern neighbor.

In August, however, as relations between the two Koreas appeared to thaw, the two countries decided to resume discussing reopening Kaesong, including Pyongyang agreeing to allow foreign investment in the complex.

The move would bar North Korea from closing the complex again in the future.

Source: Agencies

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