North and South Korea shake hands over Kaesong

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North and South Korea shake hands over Kaesong

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North and South Korea have agreed to restart operations at the Kaesong joint industrial zone, located in the North.

North Korea unilaterally shut it down by withdrawing all its workers in April. This came amid high tensions between the two countries following Pyongyang’s February nuclear test.

Both sides want to re-open Kaesong, but because it was so hastily abandoned there could be a lot of work to be done before that can be done.

Kim Hak-Kwon, Co-President of the Association of Companies at Kaesong Industrial Complex, explained: “We don’t know exactly what the situation is there. After we’ve carried out detailed checks of the facilities, we can make plans.”

Seoul also wants assurances that Pyongyang will not unilaterally shut it down again. South Korean officials have stressed that the talks are a “first step”.

Kaesong is home to more than 120 South Korean factories – staffed, when operational, by some 50,000 workers from the North.