[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Two Koreas agree to reopen industrial park

Symbol of co-operation to be back in operation next week after cooling of relations between North and South.

Last Modified: 10 Sep 2013 23:46
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The joint committee negotiated through the night for an agreement [AP]

North and South Korea have agreed to reopen their Kaesong joint industrial park next week, five months after it was  shut during soaring military tensions.

Following a marathon negotiation session that went through the night, the two sides on Wednesday set a date of September 16 for restarting the shuttered complex, the  South's Unification Ministry said. 

South Korean firms in Kaesong, which lies six miles over the border in North Korea, will be allowed to resume operations after a trial run on Monday, the ministry said.

The agreement came at a second round of talks between a newly created Kaesong joint committee.

Established in 2004 as a rare symbol of inter-Korean co-operation, Kaesong had come through a number of crises on the Korean peninsula unscathed.

But in April, as tensions escalated following the North's third nuclear test, Pyongyang effectively shut down operations by withdrawing the 53,000 North Korean workers employed at the 123 South Korean factories.

The two Koreas agreed last month to work together to resume operations at the zone, which is an important source of hard currency for the cash-strapped regime in Pyongyang.

As part of the deal, the North accepted the South's demand that Kaesong be opened to foreign investors - a move seen by Seoul as a guarantee against the North shutting the complex down again in the future.

Wednesday's agreement included plans to host a road show for foreign investors at Kaesong in October.

237

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
In Brussels, NGO staff are being trained to fill the shortfall of field workers in West Africa.
Lawsuit by 6-year-old girl, locked up for a year, reignites debate over indefinite detention of 'boat people'.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Citizens of the tiny African nation say they're increasingly anxious of the fallout after alleged coup.
A humanitarian crisis and a budget crisis converge in the heart of the human smuggling corridor in Texas.
join our mailing list