Korean Peninsula Pact Achieved to Reopen Joint Factory

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
Aug. 14, 2013, 8:02 a.m.

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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