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S. Korea reserved on resumption of inter-Korean complex operation

All News 16:19 February 09, 2017

SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's foreign ministry said Thursday that reopening the inter-Korean industrial complex does not conform to the international community's approach to handling North Korea's nuclear threat, and such a step could trigger debate about breaking U.N. Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

Some politicians, including leading presidential candidates, have cautiously raised the possibility of resuming operations at the industrial park in the North's border city of Kaesong. These people argued that the move could help induce a reconciliatory mood with Pyongyang.

The Seoul government shut down the Kaesong complex on Feb. 10, 2016, in response to Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests. The complex was regarded as a symbol of reconciliation between the two Koreas.

"Our government stance is that it (the resumption of its operation) is not in line with the international community's sanction-focused approach to the North," foreign ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck said at a regular press briefing.

"At a time when the North continues its nuclear and missile provocations and concerns are lingering that the money generated from the Kaesong complex could be exploited for nuclear development, resuming the operation could spark new controversy," he added.

The spokesman noted that the international community is currently focusing on measures aimed at making it hard for the North to obtain money for its nuclear programs in conformity with the UNSC-led drive.

He supported the government's decision to shut down the complex, saying it is based on its policy determination to protect its people's lives and property and prevent the North from using the money to advance its nuclear capabilities.

The complex opened in 2004 following the first inter-Korean summit in 2000. It had served as a major revenue source for the cash-strapped North, while South Korea had benefited from the cheap but skilled North Korean labor.


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