N.Korea Pulls Workers Out of Kaesong Complex
Pyongyang on Monday halted operations at the joint-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex by withdrawing all North Korean workers.
On a visit to the industrial park, Kim Yang-gon of the Worker Party's United Front Department, said in a statement, "We are temporarily suspending the operation of the Kaesong Industrial Complex and reviewing whether to maintain it or not. How the situation develops is totally dependent on the attitude of the South Korean authorities."
|Thus cutting off one of the Norks' last remaining ways to generate legitimate cash...|
Some 54,000 North Korean laborers work for 123 South Korean firms in the industrial park.
The complex now faces the first real danger of being shut down since it was launched based on an inter-Korean agreement in 2004. It kept operating even after the North sank the Navy corvette Cheonan in March and 2010 and shelled Yeonpyeong Island in November that year.
"Despite our repeated warnings, the South Korean confrontationists keep hurling unbearable verbal abuse at us, insulting our dignity by talking about a 'cash cow,' and 'detention' and 'hostage taking' [of South Korean workers there], Kim complained. South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin "revealed his true intentions of sending special U.S. forces into the Kaesong complex while talking about a possible rescue operation for hostages."
The Unification Ministry said there is "no justification" for the move and added North Korea is solely responsible for any consequences.
Some 475 South Korean staffers remain at the industrial park and all of them are safe, the government here said. An official said, "We're prepared for a contingency but have no plan right now to withdraw all staff from the industrial park."
|I think that I'd call in sick tomorrow just in case...|
Posted by: Steve White 2013-04-09