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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

South, North Korea Talk Future of Joint Industrial Complex

RIA Novosti

07:18 10/07/2013 MOSCOW, July 10 (RIA Novosti) - North and South Korea have begun working-level talks on the future of a joint industrial zone that will keep alive the only viable economic link between the two countries, Yonhap news agency reported on Wednesday.

Over the weekend, the two countries reached an agreement in principle to normalize the situation at the joint venture, following marathon talks at Tongilgak on the North Korean side of the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone.

Officials from North and South Korea are now meeting at the Kaesong Industrial Complex to discuss safeguards for preventing another shutdown of the industrial park in the future and keep it running “without being affected by political and other noneconomic developments,” Yonhap reported.

The talks follow months of high tensions on the Korean Peninsula intensified by North Korea's third nuclear test in February and its threats of launching nuclear attacks against South Korea and Washington.

In a further sign of escalating tensions between the North and South, Pyongyang suspended from April all operations at the industrial complex in the border city of Kaesong and pulled out all of its 53,000 staff working for the 123 South Korean companies. Six days before, the North banned South Korean personnel from entering the complex.

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