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Seoul seeks Kaesong talks with Pyongyang
February 27, 2015, 10:54 am

Some 53,000 North Korean workers began to return to Kaesong in September 2013 as part of an effort to increase cooperation between the two countries [Xinhua]

Some 53,000 North Korean workers began to return to Kaesong in September 2013 as part of an effort to increase cooperation between the two countries [Xinhua]


South Korean officials said on Friday they would press their northern neighbor to work in cooperation toward developing the Kaesong Industrial complex, a project shared by both countries, and not take unilateral measures.

Seoul has proposed that the two sides meet on March 13 to iron out any differences over Kaesong.

Earlier this week, Pyongyang took the step of unilaterally raising by more than 5 per cent the wages of the workers. Since 2007, workers wages have increased by an annual 5 per cent increment, but Seoul says any such changes should come through mutual agreement.

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 has been shut down a number of times in the past decade as it suffered from tensions between Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington.

It was shut down for several months in 2012 and 2013 as both Koreas traded accusations over the Pyongyang’s launching of upgraded missiles and the Seoul’s holding of joint military exercises with its US ally.

On Friday, South Korean unification ministry spokesman Lim Byeong-cheol said: “If the North has a will for the development of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, it should stop unilateral acts and resolve pending problems through consultations between authorities.”

Source: Agencies

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