Ministry to preregister Kaesong visitors

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Ministry to preregister Kaesong visitors

In a move designed to ensure more transparency in cross-border trips, the Unification Ministry in Seoul announced it would set up a preregistration system for South Koreans who wish to travel north of the border to the Kaesong Industrial Complex.

Under the system, which will take effect March 2, employees and officials of South Korean companies operating in Kaesong will have to submit a proof of employment letter or other documents showing they work for a Kaesong-based company.

Kaesong officials may register on the Web site for the Kaesong management committee at and attach their proof of employment.

Last October, four city council members from Paju, Gyeonggi, disguised themselves as Kaesong employees when they crossed the border. The Unification Ministry said at the time their actions were in violation of the law on inter-Korean exchanges because they’d submitted false information.

Those visiting Kaesong on social or cultural exchanges or on civilian humanitarian causes may apply separately at the Unification Ministry.

Over the past year, the ministry has been reluctant to approve visitor applications by civic organizations with political inclinations.

And late Tuesday, the ministry rejected a request by the left-leaning South Korean office of the Committee for Implementation of the June 15 Joint Declaration.

The agency had planned to visit Kaesong today and discuss preparations for commemorating the 10th anniversary of the declaration, reached during the first inter-Korean summit in 2000.

Under the declaration, the two Koreas agreed to promote economic cooperation and settle humanitarian issues such as reuniting separated families.

By Yoo Jee-ho []
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`신분위장 방북` 방지 차원

정부는 개성공단 직원으로 신분을 속여서 방북하는 행태를 막기 위해 내년부터 개성공단 입주기업 및 유관기관 관계자들의 신원을 전산화해 관리하는 '사전 등록제'를 시행할 방침이다.

정부 당국자는 30일 "수시로 북한을 왕래하는 개성공단 관계자들의 명단과 신상 정보를 미리 전산 시스템에 등록한 뒤 방북 신청이 들어오면 등록된 명단과 대조하는 방안을 내년 초부터 정식 시행할 방침"이라고 말했다.

그는 "만약 전산 시스템에 등록되지 않은 사람이 개성공단 관계자라며 방북을 신청할 경우 입주기업의 재직증명 서류 등을 제출하게 하는 방식으로 신분을 확인하게 될 것"이라고 설명했다.

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