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(LEAD) S. Korea to partially ban entry into joint industrial park

All Headlines 08:51 August 21, 2015

(ATTN: REWRITES lead to clarify; UPDATES with more info in last 5 paras)

SEOUL, Aug. 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Friday it will limit the entry of its nationals into a joint industrial park in North Korea following the exchange of artillery fire between the two sides.

The Unification Ministry said it will only permit South Korean businessmen directly involved in the operation of factories at the Kaesong Industrial Park to enter the complex.

But other South Koreans, including those working at subcontractors, will not be allowed to move in and out of the complex in the North's border city of the same name, the ministry said.

South Korea fired back at North Korea on Thursday following the North's firing of shells at a South Korean front-line military unit in the western area of the heavily fortified border. No damage was reported.

A total of 124 South Korean small and medium-size enterprises operate factories at the industrial park, the last remaining symbol of inter-Korean reconciliation. About 54,000 North Koreans work there.

South Korean businessmen safely returned to the South from the complex on Thursday despite the North's provocation.

The ministry said it has taken measures to ensure the safety of South Koreans who are temporarily staying in the North.

North Korea began to roll back its standard time by 30 minutes on Liberation Day this past Saturday to dispel what it called the vestige of Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

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

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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