South Korea offers help to firms hit by Kaesong closure
Seoul: South Korea announced Wednesday a set of measures, including tax relief and special loans, to help firms hit by North Korea`s closure of the Kaesong joint industrial zone.
"This is not enough to ease the suffering of affected companies... this is just a start," Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-Seok told reporters, promising more measures would follow.
North Korea has blocked South Korean access to Kaesong since April 3, amid soaring military tensions on the Korean peninsula.
On April 9, it pulled out all the 53,000 North Koreans working at the 123 South Korean firms in Kaesong and shut down the complex, which was established in 2004 as a rare symbol of inter-Korean cooperation.
The aid package announced Wednesday involves a number of state bodies including the finance ministry and the national tax agency and will include guarantees for new bank loans and work training for those who lost jobs.
The tax office will hold off on conducting audits, and try to give hard pressed companies refunds on value added to taxes they already paid.
"Difficulties among the companies are getting ever more intense as the suspension has continued for more than two weeks now," Kim said.
There are currently 176 South Korean workers still in Kaesong, compared to the normal number of around 850.
The North`s decision to suspend operations was unexpected.
Neither of the Koreas has allowed previous crises to significantly affect the complex, a valued source of hard currency for the impoverished North and seen as a bellwether of stability on the Korean peninsula.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar stands in a queue at Pune wedding!
- India's second deadliest heatwave kills more than 2000 people
- Jamaat-e-Islami chief announces Rs 100 cr reward for PM Modi's arrest
- FSSAI testing more Maggi; brand ambassadors can be liable: Govt
- DNA: Govt tests Maggi noodle samples from all states
- Check CHSE orrisharesults.nic.in, chseodisha.nic.in for Class 12 (Plus Two) Result 2015
- Will ask SC if India can pursue Captain Saurabh Kalia case against Pakistan in ICJ: Sushma Swaraj
- Salman, Aamir, Shah Rukh in a film together?
- Anti-minority remarks by Sangh Parivar leaders 'uncalled for': Narendra Modi
- Even 100 Rahul Gandhis cannot match PM Narendra Modi's mega wave: Shiv Sena