Kaesong losses in billions of won

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Kaesong losses in billions of won

The South Korean companies whose business operations were halted following the shutdown of the jointly run Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea claimed Wednesday that total damages accrued since the closure amounted so far to at least 815 billion won ($660 million).

Jeong Gi-seob, president of the Corporate Association of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, said that 120 companies had suffered nearly 1 trillion won in losses so far, pointing out that the losses on invested assets was estimated to be about 568.8 billion won, with inventory losses at 246.4 billion won.

The association added that potential damage was not included in the tally, such as operating losses and customer compensation, and said it would carry out an additional investigation.

It is expected that actual losses will be much greater. Among the 124 companies that ran business in the industrial park in the North’s border city of Kaesong, 49 have factories only in North Korea, the association said.

The firms urged the South Korean government to fully compensate their losses, demanding that liquid assets be accounted for in addition to fixed assets covered under the state-run insurance program.

The South Korean government said over the weekend that it would provide 330 billion won ($267.6 million) in insurance coverage starting today to more than a hundred companies that were affected by the shutdown.

The Kaesong Industrial Complex has idled since Feb. 10, when South Korea announced that it was shutting down the venture park as a punitive measure for Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6 and subsequent long-range missile launch on Feb. 7.

The government concluded that the complex had served as a lucrative source of revenue for the regime to bolster its weapons programs. A day later, the North kicked out South Korean workers at the park and seized the remaining assets.

BY KIM SO-HEE [kim.sohee0905@joongang.co.kr]

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