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Russian Trade Officials to Visit Inter-Korean Industrial Complex

FILE - The inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex is seen across the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating North Korea from South Korea in this picture taken from Dora observatory in Paju, 55 kilometers north of Seoul.

Russian trade officials and experts are slated to make a brief visit to the inter-Korean industrial complex of Kaesong Thursday.

South Korea’s Ministry of Unification announced in a press briefing Wednesday that the Russian delegation will assess the status of the Kaesong Industrial Complex and look for investment opportunities there.

The nine-person delegation is led by Mikhail Bondarenko, head of the Seoul-based Trade Representation of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Korea.

The Unification Ministry’s spokesman Im Byung-cheol said while the Russian companies showed interest in the Kaesong complex, detailed action plans are not set in stone.

The Kaesong Industrial Complex reopened in September of last year after Pyongyang shut the area down for five months during heightened tensions with Seoul.

Since the resumption, both Koreas have agreed to push for more direct foreign investment in the zone. So far, all 123 companies operating inside the Kaesong complex are South Korean firms using North Korean labor.

Russian and Chinese firms are involved in special economic zones elsewhere in North Korea.

Jee Abbey Lee contributed to this report, which was produced in collaboration with the VOA Korean service.