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North, South Korea hold talks on Kaesong industrial zone

Last Updated: Saturday, July 6, 2013 - 12:24

Zee Media Bureau

Seoul: Officials from North and South Korea reportedly met on Saturday to hold talks on restarting Kaesong industrial zone that had been a symbol of cooperation between the bitter rivals.

The industrial zone was closed amidst rising tensions between the two countries. North Korea then pulled out its 53,000 workers followed by South Korea ordering its managers to leave as well, as per a news agency report.

South Korea`s Unification Ministry, which is in charge of relations with North Korea, said the two sides began the working-level talks at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the DMZ

The two agreed to discuss retrieving products that the South Korean managers left behind at the industrial complex in North Korea and inspecting the facilities. They will also discuss restarting work at the park.

The park, which brought together North Korean labor and South Korean capital, resulted in nearly $2 billion a year in cross-border trade. It was the last remaining joint project between two Koreas as relations soured over the past five years.

The closure meant a loss of salary for tens of thousands of North Korean workers employed in factories run by 123 South Korean companies, and a loss of goods and orders for business managers who relied on Kaesong to churn out everything from shoes and watches to cables and electrical components.

The Saturday talks come after a protocol disagreement last month resulted in the Koreas calling off what would have been the first senior-level meeting in years.

(With Agency Inputs)

First Published: Saturday, July 6, 2013 - 10:13
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