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North and South Korea aim to re-open joint industrial zone

New talks are strong sign of thaw after recent aggression
North and South Korea aim to re-open joint industrial zone

South Korean soldiers at the industrial complex's checkpoint (picture: Ed Jones/AFP)

Published: July 10, 2013 07:21 AM GMT
Updated: July 09, 2013 08:30 PM GMT

North and South Korea have started in-depth talks on reopening a jointly-run industrial zone in Kaesong.

The two sides agreed in principle to restart operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex after marathon negotiations over the weekend.

South Korea says it wants assurances that Pyongyang will not unilaterally close the factory zone again.

Work at the Kaesong zone has been suspended since mid-April, when North Korea withdrew its workers.

The move came amid high tensions after Pyongyang's 12 February nuclear test.

The Kaesong complex, which is located just inside North Korea, is home to more than 120 South Korean factories which employ some 53,000 North Korean workers.

The joint project is both a symbol of inter-Korean co-operation and a key source of revenue for Pyongyang.

Sun Ho, who led the South Korean delegation, said his team would strive to accomplish "developmental normalisation" of the complex "in accordance with common sense and international rules".

Another official at the Unification Ministry said: "The weekend marked the first step, but the difficult part starts now."

Full Story: North and South Korea discuss reopening Kaesong complex 

Source:BBC News

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