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May 03, 2013

Last S. Korean Workers Leave Kaesong Factory Complex

by VOA News

The last seven South Korean workers left a shuttered factory complex in North Korea and arrived in the city of Paju Friday, ending the final peaceful tie between the two foes.

At the same time, a vehicle containing an undisclosed payment for unpaid taxes and wages for North Korean workers crossed over the border to the North.

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 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.

The dispute over Kaesong is the latest flashpoint in what has been weeks of tensions on the Korean peninsula.