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Daily News 4/03

Posted by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 12:10 PM
  • 14 Replies

 

North Korea blocks South's access to Kaesong factory park

Workers not being allowed to cross border into shared industrial complex that was enemies' only remaining bilateral initiative

  • guardian.co.uk,
South Koreans seek information at the crossing into the Kaesong factory park just inside the North
South Koreans try to get information at the crossing into the Kaesong industrial park, just inside the North Korean border. Photograph: Jung Yeon-je/AFP/Getty

North Korea has barred South Korean workers from entering a jointly run factory park just inside its borders, officials in Seoul have said, a day after Pyongyang announced it would restart its long-shuttered plutonium reactor and increase production of nuclear weapons material.

The move to block South Koreans from going to their jobs at the Kaesong industrial complex, the last remaining symbol of co-operation between the rivals, comes amid increasing hostility from Pyongyang, which has threatened to stage nuclear and missile strikes on Seoul and Washington and has said the armistice ending the 1950s Korean war is void.

Kim Hyung-suk, a spokesman for the unification ministry in Seoul, said Pyongyang was allowing South Koreans to return home from Kaesong – three workers left the complex on Wednesday morning and dozens more were scheduled to follow later. But about 480 South Koreans who had planned to travel to the park on Wednesday were being refused entry.

North Korean authorities cited recent political circumstances on the Korean peninsula when they delivered their decision to block South Korean workers from entering Kaesong, Kim said without elaborating.

The Kaesong industrial park started producing goods in 2004 and has been an unusual point of co-operation in the otherwise hostile relationship between the Koreas. North and South Korea do not allow their citizens to travel to the other country without approval but an exception had previously been made each day for the South Koreans working at Kaesong.

About 120 South Korean firms run factories in the border town of Kaesong, with 53,000 North Koreans working there. Using North Korea's cheap, efficient labour the Kaesong complex produced £310m ($470m) worth of goods last year.

Pyongyang had threatened in late March to shut down the park, which is run with mostly North Korean labour and South Korean knowhow. It expressed anger over South Korean media reports that said North Korea had not yet shut the park because it is a source of crucial hard currency for the impoverished country.

In 2009, North Korea closed its border gate in anger over US-South Korean military drills, leaving hundreds of South Korean workers stranded in Kaesong for several days. The park later resumed normal operations.

"I feel worried that I'm unable to do business and also feel anxious," said Joe In-suk, a 54-year-old South Korean who had planned to travel to Kaesong on Wednesday. About a dozen South Korean trucks were lined up at the checkpoint leading into North Korea.

If North Korea continues to deny entrance to South Korean workers it could be tantamount to a shutdown because Kaesong factories cannot operate production lines without supplies of raw materials sent regularly by truck from the South to the North.

A South Korean manager whose company runs a factory in Kaesong was worried that buyers would drop future orders if North Korea continued to block workers and supplies from the South. "For some companies today's move must have already dealt them a blow," the manager said. "We cannot produce goods without raw material."

Seoul's unification ministry urged Pyongyang to "immediately normalise" cross-border traffic in and out of Kaesong.

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Notes:

by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 12:10 PM
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Replies (1-10):
EthansMomma2010
by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 12:14 PM

 sorry this is late. not feeling well today

mamamedic69
by Deanna on Apr. 3, 2013 at 12:29 PM
I hope you feel better!

Quoting EthansMomma2010:

 sorry this is late. not feeling well today

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
EthansMomma2010
by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 12:32 PM
1 mom liked this

 thanks

Quoting mamamedic69:

I hope you feel better!

Quoting EthansMomma2010:

 sorry this is late. not feeling well today

 

KaylaMillar
by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 3:20 PM
Interesting
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natesmom1228
by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Thanks for this.

la_bella_vita
by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 5:17 PM

 

Quoting EthansMomma2010:

 sorry this is late. not feeling well today

 I hope you feel better!

la_bella_vita
by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 5:33 PM

 Thanks for sharing

collinsmommy0
by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 6:36 PM
Thanks for sharing

The North Korea stuff seems to be getting kinda scary.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
slw123
by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 8:36 PM

The situation over there is getting alarming.

EthansMomma2010
by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 8:36 PM

 I'm a little scared too. My dh says the majority of their missiles don't even work though.

Quoting collinsmommy0:

Thanks for sharing

The North Korea stuff seems to be getting kinda scary.

 

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