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S. Korean bizmen at joint industrial park safely return home despite tension

All Headlines 19:02 August 20, 2015

SEOUL, Aug. 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korean businessmen running factories at an inter-Korean industrial park returned home without a hiccup on Thursday despite tension sparked by North Korea's shell firing near the border, a government official said.

Earlier in the day, South Korea fired back at North Korea following the North's firing of a shell at a South Korean front-line military unit in the western area of the heavily fortified border. No damage has been reported so far.

The Unification Ministry said that South Korean businessmen's return to the South from the Kaesong Industrial Park ended as usual despite the North's provocation.

"Without abnormalities, they returned home," the official said.

The joint industrial park in the North's border city of Kaesong is the last remaining symbol of inter-Korean reconciliation since its opening in 2004.

A total of 124 South Korean small and medium-size enterprises operate factories at the park, which employs about 45,000 North Korean workers.

North Korea began to roll back its standard time by 30 minutes starting last Saturday in a bid to dispel what it called the vestige of Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula to mark the 70th anniversary of liberation.

The North's decision has pushed back all entries by South Korean businessmen into the complex by half an hour, which also leads them to start and finish later than in the past.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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