Published : 2013-10-06 20:15
Updated : 2013-10-06 20:15
The National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee members are pushing to conduct an on-site audit of the inter-Korean Gaeseong industrial park later this month to seek measures to better help South Korean businesses there and improve ties between the two Koreas.
“Through political agreement between the rival parties to visit the park where businesses are still suffering from difficulties, we expect to send a positive message not only in and outside of Korea but also to North Korea,” Democratic Party Rep. Hong Ihk-pyo told The Korea Herald.
“At a moment where the separated family reunion has been suspended and harsh remarks are exchanged ahead of the joint naval drill among the South, the U.S. and Japan, us going to the Gaeseong park in itself is hoped to have a positive impact on resuming dialogue between the two Koreas,” he said.
The Gaeseong industrial park resumed operation in September after over a five-month hiatus that shut it down following Pyongyang’s withdrawal of its workers as part of its escalated provocations against the South earlier this year.
Sources said the lawmakers were aiming to visit the last-remaining symbol of inter-Korean exchange around Oct. 30.
The Unification Ministry said they’ll review the visit once the lawmakers’ request is submitted. All South Koreans need government approval to visit North Korea.
In late September, North Korea unilaterally put off the scheduled reunion for families separated in the Korean War, blaming Seoul’s “confrontational” attitude.
Most recently on Friday, Pyongyang denounced President Park Geun-hye by her name for the first time for stoking tension, and reiterated its goal to simultaneously develop its nuclear capability and economy.