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North Korea Lifts Kaesong Entry Ban on Seoul Officials

  • VOA News

FILE - North Korean employees sew in a South Korean-owned company at the Kaesong industrial park. North Korea has lifted a ban that had kept two South Korean officials from entering a factory complex.

FILE - North Korean employees sew in a South Korean-owned company at the Kaesong industrial park. North Korea has lifted a ban that had kept two South Korean officials from entering a factory complex.

North Korea has lifted a ban that had kept two South Korean officials from entering a factory complex it jointly manages with the South.

The North earlier this week imposed the ban, keeping the officials from the Kaesong Industrial Complex, which lies just north of the border.

Pyongyang gave no reason for imposing the ban Tuesday. Officials in Seoul said the North also did not give a reason Friday when it lifted the restriction.

One of the officials who was banned but now allowed back in is Choi Sang-chul, a former South Korean government official who now serves on the complex's management committee.

More than 53,000 North Korean workers are employed by about 120 South Korean factories in the park, which opened in 2004 and is one of the few areas of North-South economic cooperation.

The center has been a repeated source of tension between the two countries. Most recently, the two sides were involved in a months-long dispute over wages for North Korean workers before reaching an agreement in August.

The complex, which was shut down temporarily in 2013 during a time of heightened diplomatic tensions, is an important source of revenue for the cash-strapped North, which keeps most of the wages earned by its workers.

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