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Chinese scholar cautious about reopening inter-Korean industrial park

   BEIJING -- An agreement between Seoul and Pyongyang to reopen their joint industrial complex was a welcome sign for inter-Korean relations, but much work is still needed for the two sides to put their relations on a positive footing, a Chinese scholar said Thursday.

   South and North Korea agreed on Wednesday to reopen the Kaesong industrial complex in the North's border city, which was shut down in April amid soaring tensions following Pyongyang's third nuclear test.

   However, they failed to set an exact date for resuming operations at the Kaesong complex, the last remaining symbol of inter-Korean reconciliation.

   Gong Yuzhen, a professor on international affairs at Peking University, told the state-run China Daily that the agreement does move the situation on the Korean Peninsula forward, but there are still reseasons to remain cautious.

   "However, we cannot be too optimistic. The possibility of the situation worsening on the Korean Peninsula still remains because the structural problems between Seoul and Pyongyang have not been resolved," the paper quoted Gong as saying.

   Launched in 2004, the Kaesong industrial park came to a halt in early April when North Korea abruptly withdrew all of its 53,000 workers hired by the 123 small-sized South Korean plants there.

   The North cited high political and military tensions on the Korean Peninsula as the reason for its action. (Yonhap)

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