On Wednesday, North and South Korea agreed to a deal to reopen the Kaesong industrial complex, though a date for renewed production there has not yet been set, Yonhap News Agency reported.
The accord between the two nations came after North Korea issued a resolution to not shut down the facility again “under any circumstances,” according to the Korean wire service. Additionally, the facility will “internationalize” by allowing foreign investors, a move that Seoul brought up during negotiations in an effort to make it less easy for North Korea to take action against the complex in the future, according to Yonhap.
A joint committee will be created to supervise the future of the industrial park and other issues that have arisen since its closure in early April, including restitution payments for lost revenue for South Korean plants, the wire service reported.
“Once the joint committee is set up and inspections and the refurbishment of manufacturing facilities takes place, companies will be allowed to go back to the complex and start operations,” said a unification ministry official, as quoted by Yonhap. The joint committee will be made up of officials from both North and South Korea who have been participating in the daily management of the facility, the wire service reported.
The announcement comes just a week after North Korea signaled it was ready to begin a seventh round of talks over the complex.
In other news, U.N. inspectors arrived in Panama on Tuesday to begin inspections of the North Korean freighter that was found to be transporting hidden military equipment as it attempted to pass through the Panama Canal a month ago, CNN reported.
The inspectors arrived at the behest of the Panamanian government, who insisted that the United Nations handle the case.
International investigators will not comment publicly during the inspection and will instead wait to compile and publish a report of their findings, according to a statement from Panama’s Security Ministry, cited by CNN. The inquiry is expected to end next Friday, according to the network.
The Chong Chon Gang’s 35-person crew is expected to be returned to North Korea “soon, like in a month,” although they could be “returned to Cuba and from there go to Korea,” said a government official, according to a report in the London Guardian.
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"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."