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S. Korean watchmaker shows no intent to invest more in Kaesong

All Headlines 20:22 November 12, 2009

SEOUL, Nov. 12 (Yonhap) -- Romanson Co., a South Korean watchmaker, said Thursday it has no intention to further invest in an inter-Korean industrial complex because of the political risks.

Romanson operates a plant in the industrial park in the North Korean border town of Kaesong, which turns out 40,000 watches per month. In 2005, the company invested 6.1 billion won (US$5.3 million) to build the factory.

"We are satisfied with wage levels and North Korean workers' technology-learning ability, but political risks are burdensome," said company President Kim Ki-seok.

Romanson recently sold a land lot in the industrial complex, he added.

Currently, more than 100 South Korean firms operate with about 40,000 North Korean workers in the Kaesong complex, an outcome of the first inter-Korean summit between then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in 2000.

Since the inauguration of a conservative government in South Korea in 2008, inter-Korean relations have been strained over the North's nuclear ambitions and missile tests.

Tension is currently running high after the navies of the two Koreas clashed in waters along the disputed western sea border on Tuesday, with each side blaming the other for violating the border and firing first.
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