Inter-Korean factory park recovers to pre-halt level

By 신용배
  • Published : Mar 9, 2014 - 10:21
  • Updated : Mar 9, 2014 - 10:21

Operations at the inter-Korean industrial complex in the North Korean border city of Kaesong have almost recovered to their level before the park came to a sudden halt early last year, data showed Sunday.

   The Kaesong Industrial Complex was shut down in early April

2013 after the North pulled out all of its workers at 123 South Korean firms. It reopened in September after Pyongyang agreed not to repeat such a suspension.

   According to the data compiled by Seoul's Ministry of Unification, the output of the firms in the park totaled US$352.9 million in December, slightly lower than the $364.2 million posted a year earlier.

   Around 52,000 North Korean employees worked there as of the end of last year, compared to some 53,000 people in March 2013, the ministry said, adding that all South Korean companies, except one, had normal operations as of last week.

   Trade volume between the two Koreas in January also reached some 94 percent of that recorded in the same month a year earlier at $168.87 million, the data showed.

   In accordance with the so-called May 24 sanctions South Korea imposed on the North for its sinking of one of its warships in the Yellow Sea in 2010, economic exchanges unrelated to the park are banned.

   "We've seen some progress in the inter-Korean agreement to strive to boost the park by focusing on the three issues of launching Internet services, simplifying the customs process, and making South Koreans' access to the park easier," a ministry official said.

   As the last remaining symbol of inter-Korean economic cooperation, the Kaesong complex has served as a major revenue source for the cash-strapped communist country.  (Yonhap)