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People's Daily Online

Resumption of inter-Korean cooperation projects possible through int'l community: S. Korean ministry

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 14:52, January 02, 2019

SEOUL, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- The resumption of cooperation projects between South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) would be possible through cooperation with the international community, Seoul's unification ministry said on Wednesday.

Baik Tae-hyun, spokesman of the unification ministry, told a press briefing that as agreed upon at the inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang in September, the two sides needed to create conditions at this point.

The spokesman said the resumption would make progress through cooperation with the international community.

The remarks came a day after top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un said in his New Year's address that he was willing to reopen the inter-Korean factory park in the DPRK's border town of Kaesong and resume the tours by South Koreans to the DPRK's scenic resort of Mount Kumgang on its east coast "without any preconditions".

The DPRK leader and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed during their September summit to normalize the two inter-Korean cooperation projects as soon as "conditions are met."

The normalization, however, has been delayed with international sanctions imposed on Pyongyang.

The Kaesong Industrial Complex was closed down by South Korea in February 2016 over the DPRK's fourth nuclear test in the previous month. Before the shutdown, 123 South Korean companies ran factories in the industrial zone, hiring about 54,000 DPRK workers.

The spokesman said the resumption should be pursued in consultations not only between the two Koreas but also with the international community as well as stakeholders, including South Korean companies that had run factories in Kaesong and a South Korean operator of the tourism project.

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