Two Koreas Agree to Reopen Industrial Complex

Two Koreas Agree to Reopen Industrial Complex

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - North and South Korea on Wednesday agreed to reopen the Kaesong joint industrial zone after a four-month shutdown, raising hopes of easing tensions on the peninsula.

On the eve of the anniversary of Korean independence from Japanese colonial rule nearly seven decades ago, delegates from the two sides meeting in Kaesong reached a five-point agreement to reopen the business zone, a few miles (km) inside North Korea from the heavily fortified border, Los Angeles Times reported.

They agreed that the complex was "not to be affected by inter-Korean situations under any circumstances" while they sought to make the business zone "into one with international competitiveness," promoting foreign investment.

No immediate date was set for reopening the complex. The two sides will set up a committee to implement the arrangements.

Kaesong, which combines South Korean capital and technology with cheap labor from the North, stood as a symbol of peace efforts between the two countries.

However, North Korea withdrew its workers in April during a sharp downturn in relations with the South and its allies that included a steady stream of war-like messages from Pyongyang.

Since it opened in 2004, the Kaesong complex has generated about $90 million annually in wages paid directly to the North's state agency that manages the zone.

South Korea has been seeking guarantees that the North would not unilaterally close the complex again.

Six rounds of talks ended last month in failure and  tension. Pyongyang said it was willing to turn Kaesong into a military base.



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