South Korea on Friday proposed talks with North Korea on the Kaesong Industrial Complex in mid-March, three days after the communist neighbor announced a unilateral decision to raise wages for its workers there by more than 5 percent.
The unification ministry accused Pyongyang of running counter to efforts to develop the joint venture, located just north of the inter-Korean border, in a stable manner.
Created in 2004, the zone is home to around 120 South Korean firms, mostly small and medium-sized ones, which employ more than 53,000 North Korean workers.
"If the North has a will for the development of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, it should stop unilateral acts and resolve pending problems through consultations between authorities," ministry spokesman Lim Byeong-cheol said in a statement.
The government openly offered to hold a meeting with the North on March 13 at the Kaesong park, he added.
On Tuesday, the North told the South that it would raise the minimum wage for its workers there by 5.18 percent to $74 starting next month.
The North has repeatedly rejected the South's call for talks on improving business conditions in the Kaesong zone including cross-border travel, communication and customs. (Yonhap)