North agrees to postpone seminar at Kaesong

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North agrees to postpone seminar at Kaesong

North Korea told Seoul that it is “inappropriate” to hold a foreign investment seminar in the Kaesong Industrial Complex, accepting the South’s notice to cancel it on Friday.

South Korea’s Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae said at a parliamentary hearing yesterday that Pyongyang sent a reply through the South-North joint committee for the Kaesong Industrial Complex yesterday morning that said that it also agreed with canceling a special seminar for foreign investors interested in the inter-Korean venture park.

“North Korea notified us that ‘it would be inappropriate to hold an investment seminar in this kind of situation,’” Ryoo said at the National Assembly yesterday.

On Friday, South Korea sent a telegram to the North that said it would drop the seminar scheduled in the complex on Oct. 31 for any foreign investors interested in investing in the factory park located in city of Kaesong, in North Korean territory.

The seminar was part of South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s ambitious plan for turning the complex into an international business destination to ease military tensions in the strategically-important city of Kaesong and improve inter-Korean relations.

North Korea withdrew its workers from the eight-year-old venture in April over disgruntlement with South Korea. After a series of negotiations, both Koreas eventually agreed to reopen it with the North’s promise not to unilaterally close it down again for its political gains.

When the park finally reopened in September after a five-month shutdown, President Park said she wanted to develop it into an international factory project by improving the infrastructure.



BY KIM HEE-JIN [heejin@joongang.co.kr]
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