Owners of factories want to take trip to Kaesong

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Owners of factories want to take trip to Kaesong

South Korean business people who ran factories in the Kaesong Industrial Complex are pushing to visit the now-suspended industrial park in the North Korean border town next week at the earliest, a government official said Wednesday.

The official at the Ministry of Unification said that the Seoul government is discussing with North Korea the details of South Korean business owners’ visit to Kaesong.

“The business owners need to visit the Kaesong Industrial Complex to protect their property rights and inspect their assets. Discussions with the North are still underway, and the schedule has yet to be fixed,” the official said, adding that the visit could come next week at the earliest.

The official then stressed that the business owners’ planned visit to Kaesong is only aimed at protecting their property rights and has nothing to do with the resumption of the industrial park.

Minister of Unification Cho Myoung-gyon also told the National Assembly early this month that the government was discussing the South Korean business people’s visit to Kaesong separately from the reopening of the North’s industrial park.

The government of former President Park Geun-hye announced the closure of the Kaesong park on Feb. 10, 2016, in retaliation for the North’s fourth nuclear weapons test and long-range missile launch.

Since then, the South Korean owners of Kaesong factories have never set foot in the North Korean industrial complex, though they have applied for a visit to the North’s border town six times.

President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed in a September summit to normalize the Kaesong Industrial Park and South Koreans’ tour packages to the North’s Mount Kumgang resort as soon as conditions are met.

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