News / Asia

S. Korean Ruling Party Boss Makes Brief Visit to North

South Korea's ruling Grand National Party chief Hong Joon-pyo, second from right, looks at a North Korean worker during his visit to a factory in the inter-Korean industrial park in Kaesong, North Korea, September 30, 2011.
South Korea's ruling Grand National Party chief Hong Joon-pyo, second from right, looks at a North Korean worker during his visit to a factory in the inter-Korean industrial park in Kaesong, North Korea, September 30, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +

The leader of South Korea’s governing political party made a quick visit north of the demilitarized zone on Friday. The trip to an inter-Korean industrial park is seen as an attempt by the South to improve relations with the communist North.

Some South Korean officials say the half-day visit by a key political figure to the Kaesong industrial complex is significant.

The chairman of the Grand National Party, Hong Joon-pyo, toured the factory park, just north of the border. The industrial zone is the last remaining symbol from inter-Korean rapprochement, which chilled after South Korean President Lee Myung-bak came to power three years ago.

After returning from North Korea Friday afternoon, the chairman of the Grand National Party, Hong Joon-pyo, spoke to reporters.

Hong says the complex is important for economic relations and peaceful cooperation between the two Koreas. He says although he did not meet with any North Korean officials, he believes Pyongyang understands the South Korean government is putting a lot of effort into the project.

Hong says the visit helped him learn about the difficulties South Korean companies have at the joint complex.   

The Kaesong industrial park employs nearly 50,000 North Koreans working for about 120 South Korean companies. They make clothes, watches, utensils and other products. The project is one of the few significant sources of hard currency for the impoverished North.

The two Koreas have no diplomatic relations. Tension has been high since two deadly attacks on the South last year blamed on the North.

Pyongyang has repeatedly denied the torpedo attack on a South Korean naval vessel. It says the second incident, an artillery attack on a frontier island, was an act of self-defense in response to South Korean forces firing into disputed waters during a military exercise.

But South Korea recently offered emergency flood relief aid to the North. It also allowed religious groups to visit there.

Buddhist monk Jung In-sung, one the religious leaders who went North on a four-day visit that ended last Saturday, said he wants to see more government, political and religious figures embarking on such trips. He says they are beneficial for strained inter-Korean ties and says senior officials he met with in Pyongyang appear to want to improve the relationship.

Jung and six other South Korean religious leaders met with Kim Yong-nam, the head of North Korea’s parliament.

The visits are taking place amid indications that stalled six nation talks on ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs could resume soon.

Envoys from the two Koreas met last week in the Chinese capital, Beijing, their second meeting in two months.

The six-way nuclear talks, involving both Koreas, China, the United States, Japan and Russia have not been held in nearly three years.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid