WASHINGTON – Resumption of inter-Korean business projects cannot be considered without significant developments in denuclearization of North Korea, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday.
In his meeting with US lawmakers in Washington DC, Moon said that despite the benefits of such projects, developments in denuclearization efforts must come first.
“Kaesong Industrial Complex and Mount Kumgang tours had the effect of educating (North Koreans) that market economy, and (political system of) South Korea is better,” Moon said.
“However, the projects cannot be easily resumed. (Resumption) can only be discussed when serious talks on ending the North’s nuclear program begins, and it must be considered within the framework of international cooperation, and requires close negotiations with the US.”
Tours to Mount Kumgang was suspended in 2008 when a South Korean tourist was shot and killed by a North Korean soldier, and the Kaesong complex has been idle since early 2016.
North Korea took control of South Korean entities assets in Mount Kumgang in 2010, and has threatened to liquidate South Korean assets in the Kaesong complex. The value of South Korean entities’ assets in North Korea are estimated to be about 1.4 trillion won ($1.22 billion).
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)