Korea reviewing support for loss-ridden investors in inter-Korean projects

By Catherine Chung
  • Published : Aug 7, 2017 - 15:01
  • Updated : Aug 7, 2017 - 15:01
South Korea's unification ministry plans to begin reviewing financial support for local firms that invested in projects with North Korea and suffered from losses due to Seoul's punitive actions against the North, officials said Monday.

About 400 local firms that were hit by either Seoul's 2010 sanctions or South Korea's 2008 suspension of a joint tour project on Mount Kumgang are likely to be subject to the government's new financial assistance, they added.

"Government agencies are expected to begin their consultations over it this week," a government official said.

This photo, taken on July 4, 2017, shows South Korean businessmen that invested in inter-Korean projects staging a rally in central Seoul. They are demanding the government offer further financial support to enable them to make up for their business losses incurred by Seoul`s political decisions. (Yonhap)

About 1,150 South Korean firms invested in inter-Korean economic projects or entered into business deals with North Korea while inter-Korean relations remained good from 1998-2008 under South Korea's previous liberal administrations.

But they have suffered setbacks following Seoul's halt of the Mount Kumgang tour program on the North's east coast and its imposition of sanctions in May 2010 over North Korea's sinking of a South Korean warship.

The government earlier said that it will review additional assistance from the perspective of state responsibility for such local firms.

Local investors in inter-Korean projects called on the government to make up for their losses in a similar manner to the financial support given to companies that ran factories at the now-halted joint industrial complex in North Korea's border city of Kaesong. (Yonhap)