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North Korea bans South Korean workers at industrial park

IANS
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South Korean trucks return after they were banned access to Kaesong joint industrial park in Paju on Wednesday.PHOTO:AFP
South Korean trucks return after they were banned access to Kaesong joint industrial park in Paju on Wednesday.PHOTO:AFP

North Korea banned the entry of South Korean workers to the joint industrial complex at the border town of Kaesong, authorities said on Wednesday.

“In the morning, North Korea notified us of the ban of entrance to the Kaesong industrial park, while only allowing for leaving Kaesong,” Kim Hyung-seok, spokesman of the ministry of unification in charge of dialogue and cooperation with North Korea, told reporters at a press conference.

Kim said that the South Korean government “deeply regrets the failure of normal cross-border movement” in and out of the inter-Korean industrial zone, noting that it will put its top priority at ensuring the safety of workers at the industrial site, reported Xinhua.

The entry ban came four days after Pyongyang threatened to shut down the joint industrial park, which is housing around 120 South Korean companies and is employing some 54,000 North Korean workers.

Despite the normal operation of factories at the inter-Korean industrial zone until now, the entry ban would stop the supply of additional raw material and workers to the plants, which may lead to a disruption in production if the ban is prolonged.

North Korea said on Tuesday that it will restart the five-megawatt graphite moderated reactor, which was shut down in October 2007 under an agreement at the six—party talks.IANS


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