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S. Korean bizmen's move to visit joint industrial park not proper: Seoul

All News 12:21 June 07, 2016

SEOUL, June 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Tuesday it does not believe it is proper for local firms that ran factories at a joint industrial park in North Korea to visit the factory zone amid a tough sanctions regime imposed on Pyongyang.

On Feb. 10, Seoul shut down the Kaesong Industrial Complex in the North's border city of the same name after the North's fourth nuclear test and long-range rocket launch earlier in the year.

South Korean firms that ran factories there said they hope to visit the North to check their facilities and handle other issues such as the payment of wages to North Korean workers.

But South Korea's unification ministry made it clear that their move is not appropriate as the government and international community as a whole are in the process of implementing tougher sanctions against the communist country.

"It is not proper for the local firms to seek to visit North Korea at a time when the North has unilaterally announced that it will liquidate South Korean assets," said a ministry official.

On March 10, North Korea said that it will nullify all cross-border agreements on economic cooperation arrangements and liquidate South Korean assets. This announcement was made in response to Seoul's plans to slap fresh sanctions against Pyongyang separate from actions taken by the U.N. Security Council (UNSC). The U.N.'s latest sanctions are viewed as being the toughest yet and reflect the international community's resolve to get Pyongyang give up the development of weapons of mass destruction.

The South unveiled a set of its own punitive sanctions against the North including banning the entry of vessels that have made a port call in the North and blacklisting key officials and state-run entities.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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