S. Korea to discuss biz people's request to visit Kaesong complex with U.S.
SEOUL, March 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will discuss with the United States a recent request from local businesspeople to visit a shuttered inter-Korean industrial park in the North, a unification ministry official said Thursday.
The official made the remark one day after 179 people who used to operate factories at the North's border town of Kaesong requested approval for a trip there to check the equipment they left behind when the complex was abruptly closed in 2016.
"There will be chances to talk with the U.S. over the issue," the official said, noting that related discussions have not begun yet.
"We will review the request through due procedures -- such as discussions with related government bodies, drawing understanding from the international community, including the United States, and consultations with the North," the official said.
Wednesday's request was the businesspeople's eighth attempt to visit the Kaesong complex since they were forced out following the government's decision to shut it down in February 2016 in retaliation for the North's missile and nuclear tests.
Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said earlier this week he will seek consultations with the U.S. on preparatory work for the reopening of the Kaesong industrial park and a resumption of tours to Mount Kumgang on the North's east coast, which latter were suspended in 2008.
The leaders of the two Koreas agreed in September to resume the two projects when conditions are met.
Washington, however, has been wary about their resumption, fearing they could undermine the global sanctions regime against Pyongyang at a time when denuclearization talks are under way.
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