News / Asia

Koreas' Kaesong Deal Latest Sign of Easing Tensions

South Korean vehicles leave for South and North Korea's joint Kaesong Industrial Complex near the border village of Panmunjom, July 2013 file photo.
South Korean vehicles leave for South and North Korea's joint Kaesong Industrial Complex near the border village of Panmunjom, July 2013 file photo.
VOA News
The agreement between North and South Korea to re-open a stalled joint factory complex is the latest in a series of moves that have eased tensions between the two longtime rivals.

North-South relations reached their lowest point in years following Pyongyang's third nuclear test in February. At the height of the crisis, the North was issuing near daily threats of nuclear war against the South and the United States.

One of the highest profile casualties of the deterioration in relations was the the Kaesong industrial complex, which before its closure in April had served as one of the few areas of cooperation between the two Koreas.

Months of slow-moving talks aimed at re-opening the complex finally paid off Wednesday, when Seoul announced that a deal had been reached to restart operations there on a trial basis beginning next week.

Another area of cross-border cooperation that appears to be close to resuming are the meetings between families separated by the 1950-1953 Korean War. The reunions were suspended three years ago after North Korea shelled a South Korean border island.

But under a deal reached last month, about 100 people on each side will attend a reunion from September 25-30 at the North's scenic Mount Kumgang resort village.

North Korea has also proposed talks on resuming South Korean visits to Mount Kumgang that were called off by Seoul in 2008 following the fatal shooting of a South Korean woman by a North Korean soldier.

Seoul says it is rejecting Pyongyang's attempts to link the resumption of the family reunions with the restart of the resort tours, which, like the Kaesong factory, are an important source of cash for the impoverished North.

So far, Seoul has agreed to discuss restarting the tours, but it has delayed the date for talks to begin.

However, there have been no signs of progress on convincing North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program - one of the main issues of contention between the two Koreas.

North Korea has recently said it is ready to revive long-stalled six-party nuclear talks, but it has also announced that it will never give up its nuclear weapons as required under United Nations Security Council resolutions.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid