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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

North Korea closes joint Kaesong industrial zone to workers from South

Iran Press TV

Wed Apr 3, 2013 5:8AM GMT

Amid increasing tensions in the Korean Peninsula, North Korea has prevented South Korean workers from entering a joint industrial zone.

South Korea’s Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-seok said on Wednesday that Pyongyang had banned nearly 480 South Koreans from entering the joint industrial park, Kaesong, which houses more than 100 factories.

The North had earlier threatened to shut down the Kaesong Industrial Complex, which is located just across the northern side of the border with the South.

"South Korea's government deeply regrets the entry ban and urges it be lifted immediately," Kim Hyung-seok added.

North Korea declared on March 30 that it is in a “state of war” with South Korea, warning that any provocation by Seoul and Washington will trigger an all-out nuclear war.

Pyongyang also warned that if Washington and Seoul launched a preemptive attack, the conflict "will not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war."

The US on March 31 sent F-22 stealth fighter jets to South Korea as part of ‘military exercises’ with the Southeast Asian country.

Washington has also deployed two guided-missile destroyers in the Pacific to waters off the Korean Peninsula.

Pentagon spokesman George Little said on Tuesday that the USS John McCain had arrived at a "pre-determined location" in the western Pacific, adding that the USS Decatur, another destroyer, had also been deployed in the western Pacific "to perform a missile defense mission as assigned by our combatant commander.

On March 11, Seoul and Washington launched a week-long annual joint military maneuver near the Korean Peninsula despite warnings from Pyongyang. The maneuver involved 10,000 South Korean soldiers and about 3,000 US troops.

MYA/PR/HJL



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