PYONGYANG, July 17 (Itar-Tass) - The delegations of North Korea and South Korea resumed complicated and protracted talks over the future of the joint industrial complex in Kaesong on Wednesday. Each delegation consists of three officials. The fourth meeting is being held right in this industrial city, which is situated in North Korea north of the demilitarized zone. The countries have previously exchanged the draft agreements over the normalization of the operation of the enterprises in this district that should be negotiated.
The Kaesong industrial complex was launched in the end of 2004 and was a symbol of inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation since then.
Last April, North Korea stated that the Kaesong industrial zone will be suspended and the question of its shutdown or resumption of its operation will be examined thoroughly. The reason for this North Korean step is “the intention of the South Korean authorities to turn this zone in a focal point of confrontation between the compatriots in North Korea and South Korea.”
Over 100 small South Korean companies operated in this industrial zone. More than 800 South Korean citizens and about 53,000 North Korean workers were employed at the enterprises of the Kaesong industrial complex. The workers were engaged in the clothes making, the assembly of watches and electric home appliances. The Kaesong industrial complex was suspended first time for nine years of its operation.