News / Asia

Koreas Begin Talks on Re-Opening Joint Factory Complex

Head of the South Korean working-level delegation, Suh Ho (C), leaves for Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC) to attend inter-Korean working-level talks at the South's CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine), just south of the demilitarized zone separating
Head of the South Korean working-level delegation, Suh Ho (C), leaves for Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC) to attend inter-Korean working-level talks at the South's CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine), just south of the demilitarized zone separating
VOA News
South Korea and North Korea have begun a fresh round of talks aimed at re-opening a joint factory complex that recently fell victim to increased military tensions.

Seoul's Unification Ministry said the low-level talks began Wednesday at the Kaesong industrial park, which lies just north of the demilitarized zone separating the countries.

Su Ho, the Unification Ministry official heading the South Korean delegation, said before crossing the border that he is optimistic about the talks.

"We will make efforts to normalize operations at the Kaesong industrial park through a mutual agreement which will be based upon a trust-building process for the Korean peninsula as well as adherence to international rules," he said.

The two sides on Sunday held a tense, 15-hour meeting where they agreed to take steps to re-open the eight-year-old facility that serves as an important barometer of Korean relations.

It has been closed since April, when North Korea pulled its 53,000 workers as part of an angry response to international sanctions against its latest nuclear test. Seoul demanded its workers leave in early May.

It is not known how long Wednesday's talks will last, but many analysts expect slow progress, as both sides have given indications they are far apart on a number of issues.

South Korean officials say they want assurances that operations at the complex will continue even during future periods of heightened tension. They also want the North to give South Korean businessmen better access to the facility.

Earlier Wednesday, a group of South Korean businessman and officials visited Kaesong in order to inspect equipment and retrieve materials, which could be damaged by the current rainy season.

Kaesong is the last remaining symbol of cooperation between the two foes, and is seen as a bellwether of Korean relations. Although work at the center has been suspended during times of heightened tensions, it has never been shut down completely since it was established in 2004.

The complex, which relies on South Korean know-how and cheap North Korean labor, was a key source of hard currency for the North's troubled economy.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid