ROK, DPRK begin talks in Kaesong

Updated: 2014-06-26 11:19


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ROK, DPRK begin talks in Kaesong

S Korea conducts live-fire drill in east waters 
SEOUL -- ROK and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) started their first talks in six months on Thursday in Kaesong, the DPRK's border town, about running the inter-Korean factory park, Seoul's unification ministry said.

Six South Korean delegates crossed the inter-Korean land border into Kaesong, the DPRK's border city some 10 km north of the military demarcation line, and began talks at around 10 a.m. local time as scheduled, the ministry said.

The two Koreas agreed last year to hold the joint management committee meeting every quarter, but it has been halted since December last year amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula following the joint military exercise between South Korea and the United States in February. "It will be an opportunity for a comprehensive review on productive normalization of the Kaesong industrial zone," chief South Korean delegate Lee Kang-woo told reporters before heading to the dialogue venue.

Lee said the delegation will focus, during the dialogue, on the constant passage of South Korean workers to and from the inter- Korean factory park and the introduction of the Internet connectivity.

The two Koreas have test-run the electronic passage system via the radio frequency identification (RFID) since January. South Korea aimed to operate the system constantly.

Seoul has also called for early introduction of the Internet connectivity at the joint factory park.

The electronic passage system will allow South Korean workers to visit the Kaesong industrial complex and return home at any time on days when they are permitted to visit the site.

Currently, South Korea should fax a list of workers to the DPRK a day before their trip to the joint industrial zone. The DPRK has allowed only those on the list to travel to the zone during a designated time.

The Kaesong industrial complex, the last remaining symbol of inter-Korean economic cooperation, is home to 120 South Korean small companies that produce mostly labor-intensive products such as shoes and garments.