Published : 2013-08-15 09:15
Updated : 2013-08-15 15:45
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed a deal between South and North Korea to reopen a jointly run industrial complex in the communist nation, saying he hopes the resumption of the factory park will help improve inter-Korean relations.
Officials of the two Koreas reached the agreement to resume operations at the complex in the North's border city of Gaeseong during negotiations Wednesday, salvaging the last-remaining symbol of inter-Korean rapprochement from permanent closure.
The complex was shuttered in early April as North Korea withdrew all of its 53,000 workers from the 123 South-run factories in the zone while blaming heightened security tensions at the time on American-involved military exercises in the South.
"The secretary-general has stated that the complex is a successful example of the cooperation which has served as a bridge between the two Koreas. He hopes that its operation will be normalized as quickly as possible and that it faces no further interruptions to its work in the future," Ban's office said in an emailed statement.
"The secretary-general also hopes that the continuous operation of the complex will serve as a catalyst for other constructive steps, thus building mutual trust and promoting inter-Korean relations," the statement said.
Ban also "reiterates the paramount importance of inter-Korean dialogue and cooperation for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. As secretary-general, he will do his best towards this end," the office said. (Yonhap News)