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North Korea Sets Conditions for Reopening Kaesong

  • VOA News

South Korean vehicles return from the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea to the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine office in the South, just south of the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, north of Seoul, Apr. 30, 2013.

South Korean vehicles return from the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea to the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine office in the South, just south of the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, north of Seoul, Apr. 30, 2013.

North Korea has set conditions for the revival of the jointly-run Kaesong industrial park, which has suspended operations amid escalating tensions.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency quoted a spokesman from the powerful National Defense Commission Sunday as saying that South Korea should stop all hostile acts and military provocation if it is truly worried about Kaesong's future.

The spokesman cited anti-Pyongyang leaflets sent across the border by defectors and the South's preparations for an annual military exercise with the U.S. scheduled for August.

Pyongyang pulled its 53,000 workers and blocked South Korean entry to the facility last month as part of its angry reaction to expanded U.N. sanctions against its latest nuclear test.

Last month, Seoul announced it was removing its nationals from Kaesong after Pyongyang rejected an offer to hold talks on restarting the complex.

The last seven South Korean workers left the complex Friday, ending the final peaceful tie between the two foes.

At the same time, a vehicle containing $13 million for unpaid taxes and wages for North Korean workers crossed over the border to the North.

The decade-long agreement on Kaesong provided North Korea with hard currency and the South with cheap labor. The withdrawal is the first time the factory has been completely closed since its opening in 2004.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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