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N.K. found to have used S. Korean cars in Kaesong complex without permit

All Headlines 11:52 May 26, 2017

SEOUL, May 26 (Yonhap) -- North Korea was found to have used South Korean vehicles left in the closed inter-Korean industrial park in the North Korean border town of Kaesong without permission, a U.S. broadcaster reported Friday.

Radio Free Asia made the report, citing a photo taken on Dec. 9 by DigitalGlobe, an American commercial space imagery vendor, and recently made public on Google Earth.

In February last year, the South Korean government completely shut down the Kaesong Industrial Complex in response to the North's fourth nuclear and long-range missile tests. The North, in turn, responded to the punitive step with the deportation of all South Koreans there. Launched in 2004, the factory park is a combination of 124 South Korean companies and 54,000 North Korean workers.

In the photo, an 11-meter white vehicle is being operated inside the complex and another similarly sized vehicle is outside the complex, the broadcaster said.

The car in the question is similar to a 22- to 25-ton wing body truck, whose cargo box door is installed on one side, the broadcaster said.

The period when the photo was taken coincides with a period when the North attempted to pilfer and sell some of the products, including electric rice cookers, from the complex to China, the broadcaster said.

"All the vehicles inside the complex belong to South Korea, and the North's use of the vehicles without a permit is a clear-cut violation of South Korean businesses' property rights, and should be immediately stopped," the broadcaster quoted an official at South Korea's Unification Ministry, which is in charge of inter-Korean affairs, as saying.

Vehicles pass through an inter-Korean immigration office in Paju, north of Seoul, on Feb. 11, 2016, returning from the North's Kaesong Industrial Complex after Seoul's decision to shut down it was annunced the previous day. (Yonhap)

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