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Gov't pays compensation for Kaesong complex workers, firms

All News 14:02 July 20, 2016

SEOUL, July 20 (Yonhap) -- The government said Wednesday that it has paid 5.6 billion won (US$4.91 million won) in initial compensation to South Korean employees who are suffering from the shutdown of the Kaesong industrial park in North Korea.

Ministry of Unification spokesman Jeong Joon-hee said in a news briefing that Seoul paid consolation money to 335 workers to support their basic livelihood.

The official said that as of Tuesday, a total of 490 workers who were employed at the industrial park requested state financial assistance, adding that the government will promptly review the request of those that have not been paid yet.

In regards to the government's support for firms, the spokesman said that as of Wednesday, a total of 259.3 billion won in insurance coverage has been paid to 60 firms out of the total 112 businesses that are insured by the government’s economic cooperation insurance program.

He said a total of 43 companies that have not signed up for the insurance program requested 57.8 billion won in compensation for damages in fixed assets and manufacturing equipment left behind.

"As of yesterday (July 19), some 27 billion won in support funds have been paid to 22 uninsured firms," the spokesman added.

On Feb. 10, the Seoul government closed the industrial park just north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas. The South took the step after Pyongyang tested its fourth nuclear device on Jan. 6 and fired a long-range rocket on Feb. 7.

Launched in late 2004, the complex merged South Korean capital with cheap North Korean labor and was a symbol of inter-Korean cooperation.

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