Joint Korean Kaesong industrial complex reopens | News | DW | 16.09.2013
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Joint Korean Kaesong industrial complex reopens

The Kaesong industrial zone, jointly operated by North and South Korea, has reopened. The complex was shuttered in April after a rise in tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The South's Unification Ministry announced that 820 South Korean managers and workers planned to cross the border into Kaesong on Monday. More than 400 of the workers will stay overnight to oversee production operations, the ministry said.

The agreement to reopen the complex came Tuesday at a second round of talks between the two Koreas in a newly created Kaesong joint committee.

The deal is part of a five-point principle agreement on reopening the complex that the two sides signed on August 1. As part of the deal, the North accepted Seoul's demand that Kaesong be opened to foreign investors - a move which the South considers a guarantee against the North shutting the site in future.

Established in 2004, the jointly run complex is located roughly 10 kilometers (six miles) inside the North Korean border. Kaesong has provided an important hard currency source for the impoverished and secluded North.

The complex was shut down in April after Pyongyang pulled its 53,000 workers out following two months of military tensions sparked by North Korea's third nuclear test in February. Tensions were further raised by a fresh batch of United Nations sanctions against North Korea and joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States. Pyongyang said the exercises were a deliberate provocation.

Meanwhile on Monday, a South Korean man was shot dead while reportedly trying to cross the border into North Korea. The man had been trying to cross the Imjin River along the border between the two states, the Yonhap news agency reported.

South Korean soldiers had ordered the man to stop before he jumped into the water, military officials from the South said.

hc/lw (AFP, AP, dpa)