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Two Koreas resume operations in Kaesong complex

Posted September. 17, 2013 02:17,   


Operations were resumed in the Kaesong Industrial Complex on Monday. It has been 166 days since North Korea’s unilateral shutdown and 160 days since the withdrawal of all North Korean employees from the complex.

After completing checks on facilities by Sunday, companies in the complex had a trial run and started operations on Monday and some businessmen began to stay in the complex.

A source from the Unification Ministry said on Monday, “After finishing checks on Monday morning, 90 out of 123 companies in the complex had a trial run and started operations.” Around 73 percent of companies, which is 50-60 percent higher than expected, started operations, which is likely to contribute to bringing the industrial complex back to normal. Korea Electric Power Corporation increased electricity supply from 20,000 kilowatts to 100,000 kilowatts over the past weekend.

Around 8:00 a.m. on Monday, 739 South Koreans visited North Korea via the Customs Immigration Quarantine between the two Koreas. Some 400 people have remained in the complex except for some 300 people who returned to South Korea including truck drivers carrying materials on the same day. The permitted number of visits to the complex has jumped from four to 21 times a day according to the agreement between the two Koreas.

Both South Korean and North Korean workforces have started to work. The Kaesong Industrial Complex Management Committee said that it estimated approximately 32,000 North Korean workers came to the complex to work on Monday. It is around 60 percent of 53,000, the number of North Korean employees before the suspension of operations in the complex. A South Korean government source said that North Korean employees began working upon the request by South Korean companies in the complex.

Seong Hyeon-sang, president of apparel manufacturer Mansun Corporation, said, “We have started producing not only previous orders but also new orders, which we received after the agreement on the resumption of the operations in the complex.” Some companies, which failed to complete repair work, did the remaining work with North Korean employees. The Emergency Measure Committee Urging Normalization of the Kaesong Industrial Complex issued a statement and said, “We appreciate our clients who have resumes business with us. We will do our best to bring the Kaesong Industrial Complex back to normal in a constructive manner.”