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South Korea Wants To Reopen the Kaesong Industrial Park in the North

Aug. 25, 2017 (EIRNS)—South Korea’s Reunification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said at a forum today that the government is anxious to restore the Kaesong Industrial Park in North Korea as soon as possible, but can not act as long as existing sanctions forbid it. Cho said,

"if there is any change in the sanctions toward the D.P.R.K. [North Korea], the resumption of the Kaesong Industrial Complex would be on the top of the list to resolve."

Kaesong was shut down by former President Park Geun-hye after the North’s last nuclear test, under massive pressure from Obama. All ties to the North were scrapped, and the opposition to the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system was pushed aside, in early 2016.

Closing Kaesong was a blow to South Korean business as well as the North, as over 100 firms employed over 50,000 North Korean workers in factories there.

The Moon Jae-in government also wants to restore the Rason project in the North near both the Chinese and Russian borders, where Russian coal was being shipped in South Korean ships to South Korean factories through a consortium of Russia, North Korea and three South Korean companies. This was the seed crystal for a peace-through-development process, but was closed by Park last year. China is also engaged in Rason, building ports and a road from its northeast region to the sea at Rason.