[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Two Koreas agree to reopen Kaesong zone

Decision taken to revive operations at jointly run industrial zone following marathon talks.

Last Modified: 07 Jul 2013 07:57
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The talks between delegates representing North and South Korea lasted more than 16 hours [EPA]

North and South Korea have agreed to take steps to reopen the Kaesong Industrial Zone (KIZ), a rare source of hard currency for the impoverished North.

Following talks that lasted more than 16 hours, the two sides pledged on Sunday to revive operations at the jointly run zone as soon both sides were ready.

The two will hold a next meeting on July 10 at the industrial zone in order to conduct inspections and to prevent an operation suspension in the future.

"We got an impression that the North was very willing to resolve the Kaesong issue and is making great efforts as well," South Korea's chief delegate Suh Ho told reporters after the talks.

Seoul will press Pyongyang for a guarantee that there won't be any stoppage at the facility as a political bargaining tactic. The South has said KIZ can resume operations only if the North gives such an assurance.

North Korea said resuming operations at the park was a rapid priority, but the two sides had been unable to agree on firm measures to avoid a repeat of the stoppage.

North Korea closed the complex of factories three months ago, withdrawing all of its 53,000 workers, and banned South Korean firms' managers from crossing the border with supplies at the height of tensions between the two countries.

A previous attempt at dialogue a month ago collapsed in acrimony amid arguments over protocol.

Earlier this year, North Korea threatened strikes with nuclear and other missiles against the South and the US after the UN imposed toughened sanctions on the North for its third nuclear test in February.

271

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.