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N. Korea attempts to sell clothing made at Kaesong complex in China: RFA

All Headlines 11:19 April 12, 2016

SEOUL, April 12 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has been making attempts to sell clothing made at the now shut-down Kaesong joint industrial complex in some Chinese cities, a news outlet said Tuesday.

The apparel products being peddled were left behind at the Kaesong Industrial Zone when South Korean firms withdrew from the complex following the Seoul government's decisions to shutter the industrial park on Feb. 10.

The park is located just north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas. The factory zone used to house more than 120 South Korean firms that employed around 54,000 North Korean workers.

The South took the step after Pyongyang tested its fourth nuclear device on Jan. 6 and fired a long-range rocket on Feb. 7.

An ethnic Korean in the Chinese city of Shenyang told the Washington-based Radio Free Asia (RFA)
that a North Korean came to his store to sound out the possibility of purchasing the Kaesong-produced apparel.

The shop owner however said that he first wanted to buy the goods because Kaesong products are of good quality, but soon worried about the possible political complications to his business.

Another source in Dandong, a Chinese border city with North Korea, said he heard North Korean traders in China are going around stores trying to sell finished products left by South Korean companies at the Kaesong complex.

"The products must have been smuggled, and we will be in a difficult situation if we are caught by the Chinese authorities selling the smuggled goods," the source told RFA.

Recent reports said that Chinese customs authorities launched a massive crackdown against smuggling operations in the border area with North Korea, arresting and investigating a number of smugglers.

More recently, RFA also reported that the finished products of Kaesong are secretly selling at "jangmadang" or market places in the North where merchants gather to sell their goods in an open field.
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