[Letters] Safety of Kaesong workers first priority

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[Letters] Safety of Kaesong workers first priority

I strongly agree with the March 10 editorial, “Protect Kaesong workers.”

North Korea is notorious for using the same old threatening disposition at a delicate time, and it has astonished South Korea and the whole world with its unpredictable behavior and lack of common sense these days.

For example, citing Key Resolve, the annual Korea-U.S. military exercise, as the reason, North Korea unilaterally severed military communications on March 10. Earlier, on March 7, it threatened South Korea, saying the security of any civilian aircraft entering its airspace cannot be guaranteed. What’s worse, North Korea is frightening the world by planning to launch another missile, which they refer to as a “communication satellite.”

South Korean workers in the Kaesong complex are exposed to life-threatening danger because of the impulsive and illogical policies of North Korea. On March 9, the North barred workers from entering the complex without any prior notice. People who were supposed to return home to the South were stranded. We were in a panic because we could not rule out the possibility that the South Korean workers who remained might become hostages. In fact, a 53-year-old South Korean woman who was on a trip to Mount Kumgang was shot by a North Korean soldier on July 11, 2008.

With the Mount Kumgang tours, the Kaesong Industrial Complex is not just a symbol of economic cooperation but also a stepping stone to reunification. But North Korea is trying to use it to bait us and the U.S. into a fight. They want to pressure us and stir up divisions. As a result, nobody can guarantee the safety of our people. We will have to think seriously about whether the Kaesong complex should be maintained, because nothing is more important than the safety of our people.

Lee Jung-eun, teacher
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