Ministry further restricts trade with North Korea

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Ministry further restricts trade with North Korea

South Korean goods and services going in or out of North Korea will now have to be approved by the unification minister, according to the ministry yesterday. Trade with the Kaesong Industrial Complex will be the only exception to the rule, which takes effect Monday, the ministry said.

This is a follow-up to South Korea’s decision on May 24 to halt all inter-Korean trade, except that at Kaesong, as punishment for the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan in March, which the South has blamed on the North.

“To effectively implement the government’s decision to halt inter-Korean trade, we revised the rules regarding the approval processes regarding goods and services crossing the inter-Korean border,” said Chun Hae-sung, spokesman for the ministry, in a media briefing.

Until yesterday, items traded with North Korea didn’t need to be individually approved. The report by the Korea Development Institute said the suspension of trade will cost North Korea about $280 million annually.

By Moon Gwang-lip []
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