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N.K propaganda outlet calls for no outside interference in inter-Korean projects

North Korea 11:48 January 28, 2019

SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean propaganda outlet called for no outside interference in pushing for inter-Korean cooperative projects Monday, saying that cross-border exchanges are an "internal matter."

"It is an internal matter of our own people to fully expand and advance cooperation and exchanges between the North and the South so as to consolidate reconciliation and unity, and open the path toward prosperity by holding their hands tight," DPRK Today, an external propaganda outlet, said on its website.

The outlet said that it is "nonsensical" to let inter-Korean issues be dictated by any foreign power and that it is tantamount to "self-destruction" that would block the two Koreas' development and only benefit outside forces.

"As long as we let outsiders meddle and interfere, we will not be able to resolve issues linked to relations between the North and the South with our own views and demands reflected," it added.

The demand is the latest in a series of calls by the North for full-scale cross-border exchanges after leader Kim Jong-un expressed a willingness to reopen an inter-Korean industrial park in the North's border city of Kaesong and resume a tour program to the North's Mount Kumgang.

South Korea says close consultation with the U.S. is necessary to restart the projects.

Last week, the South withheld approval of a group of businessmen's request to visit the Kaesong complex to check facilities left behind when it was closed in 2016. Seoul appears concerned that their trip to Kaesong could send a signal that it may be the start of preparations to reopen the factory park.

Inaugurated in 2004, the Kaesong park was hailed as a successful cross-border economic cooperation project as it combined South Korea's capital with North Korea's cheap labor.

Its operation was abruptly halted by the conservative government of then President Park Geun-hye in retaliation for the North's nuclear and missile provocations. Businesspeople operating plants there were ordered to leave on short notice.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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