South Korea, DPRK to hold talks on inter-Korean factory park
Seoul - XINHUA
South Korea and the Democratic People' s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will hold talks
on the inter-Korean factory park in the DPRK's border town of Kaesong, the first such dialogue in some six months, a unification ministry official said Tuesday. "We initially proposed on June 9 to hold the talks on June 19, but the North side kept silence on it. On Monday, the North suggested to us to have the dialogue on June 26, and we sent our agreement to it earlier today," the official at the Unification Ministry in charge of South Korea's inter-Korean policy said over the phone, requesting anonymity.
The official said it will be the first meeting in around six months though the two Koreas agreed to hold such talks every quarter, noting overall issues on the Kaesong industrial complex will be discussed at the upcoming meeting.
Delegations from both sides will hold the fifth round of the joint management committee meeting on June 26 at the joint management center in Kaesong, the DPRK's border city about 10 km north of the military demarcation line separating the two Koreas.
The joint committee was set up last year to discuss how to jointly run the Kaesong industrial zone on a quarterly basis. The zone had been run solely by the DPRK's General Bureau for Guidance to Central Special Economic Zone in the past.
The industrial park had been shut down for nearly five months since April last year after Pyongyang withdrew its workers from the complex, but the two Koreas agreed to resume operations and establish the joint management committee to prevent such suspension of operations.
The fifth meeting has not been held amid mounting tensions on the Korean Peninsula following the joint military exercise between South Korea and the United States in February. The fourth meeting was held in December last year.
The Kaesong industrial complex, the last remaining symbol of inter-Korean economic cooperation, is home to 120 South Korean small companies that produce mostly labor-intensive products such as shoes and garments.