North Korea 'Restarts' Operations at Closed, South-Invested Factory Zone
North Korea has restarted operations at the Kaesong industrial zone, state-run web sites said on Friday, after the joint venture with South Korea was suspended last year amid disagreement over the North’s nuclear and missile programs, Reuters reported.
The South ended more than a decade of cooperation at the factory park on the North Korean side of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) after the North launched a rocket that put an object into orbit, closing the last remaining window of interaction between the two sides, still technically at war.
At the time, South Korea said it would no longer allow funds paid for Kaesong to be used in the North’s missile and nuclear programs. Since then, a South Korean official has said there is no evidence that North Korea diverted wages paid to its workers by South Korean companies operating in the park to its weapons programs.
“They do not even see our proud workers laboring vigorously working in the Kaesong industrial complex,” North Korea’s propaganda web site Meari (arirangmeari.com) said in a post dated Friday.
Another propaganda web site, Uriminzokkiri, said “it is nobody’s business what we do in an industrial complex where our nation’s sovereignty is exercised”.
An official at South Korea’s Ministry of Unification said that North Korea must not violate South Korean firms’ property rights within the complex, wire service Yonhap reported.
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