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Unification minister nominee raises need to resume Kaesong complex

All Headlines 17:10 June 13, 2017

SEOUL, June 13 (Yonhap) -- The nominee for South Korea's unification minister on Tuesday raised the need to resume the now-suspended joint industrial complex following North Korea's nuclear and missile tests.

Earlier in the day, President Moon Jae-in named Cho Myoung-gyun the country's top point man on unification. He is a former presidential aide who played a key role in preparing for an inter-Korean summit in 2007 under former liberal President Roh Moo-hyun.

Cho declined to give details, but raised the need to resume the Kaesong Industrial Complex, which Seoul shut down in February 2016 over the North's nuclear and missile provocations.

"The industrial complex should be re-opened. In that sense, it would be better to closely review the details," Cho told a group of reporters after the nomination.

In this photo, taken on June 13, 2017, Cho Myoung-gyun, the nominee for South Korea's unification minister, speaks to reporters. (Yonhap)

Cho's appointment is widely seen as reflecting Moon's resolve to thaw inter-Korean relations which have long been frozen under his two conservative predecessors.

Previously, Cho played a role in opening the complex in the North Korean border city of Kaesong, which opened in 2004 as the symbol of inter-Korean reconciliation.

Moon earlier cast a cautious note over the hasty resumption of the complex and a joint tour program at Mount Kumgang on the North's east coast, saying that there should be progress over the resolution of North Korea's nuclear standoff.

A possible resumption of those projects may spark a row over the violation of U.N. sanctions resolutions that ban the transfer of large amounts of money.

Cho also said that South Korea can seek to hold an inter-Korean summit when needed if the move could help improve long-strained inter-Korean relations.

"I think that holding an inter-Korean summit can be pushed for to improve the two Koreas' relations and resolve other issues on the peninsula if needed," he added.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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