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Seoul stresses need to reopen Kaesong complex

All News 15:07 February 10, 2020

By Yi Wonju

SEOUL, Feb. 10 (Yonhap) -- The shuttered inter-Korean industrial complex in North Korea's border city of Kaesong must reopen to help bring lasting peace to the Korean Peninsula, the unification ministry said Monday, marking the fourth anniversary of the closure of the factory park.

In 2016, Seoul closed the Kaesong Industrial Complex in retaliation against the North's fourth nuclear test. Efforts to resume the complex since then have made little progress amid a protracted stalemate in denuclearization talks.

"The government maintains the position that it is certainly necessary to resume the Kaesong Industrial Complex as a means to improve inter-Korean relations and to build lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula," Yoh Sang-key, the ministry's spokesperson, said in a regular press briefing.

"The government will continue to cooperate with the international community and create conditions favorable for the resumption of the Kaesong complex," he added.

Launched in 2004, the Kaesong Industrial Complex was born on the back of a peace mood created after the first-ever inter-Korean summit between South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in 2000.

It was hailed as a symbol of inter-Korean economic cooperation and a successful cross-border project that combined South Korean capital and technology with cheap labor from North Korea.

Seoul wants to reopen the industrial park in the hope that it could advance inter-Korean relations. President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed in their summit last September to resume the operation of the Kaesong complex when conditions are satisfied.

Washington, however, is concerned that the resumption of such projects, which would give Pyongyang badly needed hard currency, could undermine the global sanctions regime against Pyongyang when little progress has been made in their nuclear talks.

Seoul stresses need to reopen Kaesong complex - 1

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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