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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Inter-Korean Working Contact for KIZ Held

Korean Central News Agency of DPRK via Korea News Service (KNS)

Pyongyang, January 21 (KCNA) -- An inter-Korean working contact for revitalizing the Kaesong Industrial Zone (KIZ) took place in the zone from January 19 to 21.

Discussed there were the matters of improving and revitalizing the work of the KIZ for this year.

At the contact the north side recalled that it initiated the construction of the KIZ in the spirit of the June 15 joint declaration and has made sincere efforts to develop the zone. And it cited detailed data and examples to contend that such matters as laws and regulations on the KIZ, contract on lease of land, wages and taxation in the zone should be settled in conformity with international standards and the peculiarities and actual conditions of the zone.

But the south side ducked discussions over the important pending issues, including wage hike that requires urgent settlement for revitalizing the KIZ, and brought up side issues only to lay an obstacle to the contact.

The north side charged that the south side has viciously pursued the confrontation policy to seriously get on the former's nerves and is opposing even negotiations on the increase of wages for the workers in the KIZ, which are very paltry at present, while refusing to pay more under unreasonable pretexts of "financial resources" and the like. And it strongly urged the south side to sincerely approach discussions over the matters.

The south side persisted in its poor excuses and groundless assertions, unhesitatingly blaring it is the stand of its authorities that the matters of land prices and wages should never be included in the agenda items.

Such wrong attitude of the south side pushed the contact to the crisis of rupture.

The north side decided to give another chance to the south side now that it proposed to discuss the issue of wages at next contact, and agreed to have the next contact on February 1.

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