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Iran Press TV

North Korea to suspend joint industrial zone with South

Iran Press TV

Mon Apr 8, 2013 2:1PM GMT

North Korea says it will suspend operations at an industrial complex it has jointly run with South Korea blaming military warmongers for the move.

Kim Yang Gon, Secretary of North Korea's Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea announced in a Monday statement that Pyongyang will pull out more than 53,000 North Korean workers from Kaesong Industrial Complex.

The joint industrial park, Kaesong, which houses 123 factories, is the biggest employer in North Korea's third-largest city.

"The zone is now in the grip of a serious crisis,' Kim said.

'It is a tragedy that the industrial zone which should serve purposes of national reconciliation, unity, peace and reunification has been reduced to a theater of confrontation between compatriots and war against the North,' said Kim.

The statement did not mention any plan about the 475 South Korean staff still at the industrial complex.

On Wednesday North Korea banned the South Korean staff from entering the complex, which is a rare source of foreign cash for North Korea.

Members of South Korea's Unification Ministry, which is responsible for relations with the North, held a meeting on Monday to discuss the situation of the South Korean staff, but had yet to issue a statement.

North Korea 'gets few economic benefits from the zone while the south side largely benefits from it,' Kim said.

On March 30, North Korea declared 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.

ASH/SS



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