South Korea on Monday dismissed an “incomprehensible” list of North Korean demands for reviving suspended operations at a jointly-run industrial park. The Kaesong Industrial Complex, opened north of the border in 2004 as a rare symbol of cooperation, has been shut indefinitely with the…
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South Korea has said it will pull out its remaining workers in the Kaesong industrial zone.
It announced that the withdrawal follows the North’s rejection of a call to engage in talks to resolve the current standoff in the area.
“Because our nationals remaining in the Kaesong industrial zone are experiencing greater difficulties due to the North’s unjust actions, the government has come to the unavoidable decision to bring back all remaining personnel in order to protect their safety,” said Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae.
Both sides of the peninsula had already withdrawn most of their workers from the area but around 170 South Koreans had remained behind.
Since April 3 the North has prevented South Korean workers and supplies from entering the zone, calling the move a “crafty ploy”. Food and fuel is reported to be running low there.
The Kaesong site was symbolic. Before work was suspended, it was the last remnant of cooperation between the neighbours. It opened in 2004 as part of a so-called sunshine policy of engagement and optimism between the two Koreas, still technically at war after their 1950-53 civil conflict ended in a truce – but not a treaty.
More about: Korea crisis, North Korea nuclear war threats, South Korea
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SEOUL, South Korea — We’ve heard a lot of talk in recent weeks about the military side of the North Korea threat. Today, the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency is reporting that North Korea could have the capabilities to build a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on a missile — even though there’s a lot of disagreement over that part.But how does the threat of military action play for foreign investors in South Korea?Today, President Park Geun-hye met with foreign investors from Google, Citibank and Siemens — to name a few corporations — in her administration’s Blue House, reported the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper. She tried to assure them that her administration would create a stable investment environment despite North Korea’s bluster.Continue Reading… … Read More
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — A North Korean agency that deals with relations with South Korea claims Pyongyang has “powerful striking means” on standby for a launch amid speculation in Seoul and Washington that the country is preparing to test a mid-range missile.The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland also said Thursday it has entered coordinates for targets. But it didn’t elaborate on what it meant. The statement follows a recent torrent of warlike rhetoric seen as an effort to raise fears and pressure outside governments into policy changes.The comments would carry more weight if they came from a military-related agency.Analysts believe North Korea is extremely unlikely to stage an attack. But outside officials have said Pyongyang appears to be preparing to test-fly a missile that could reach Guam.Continue Reading… … Read More
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea on Tuesday urged all foreign companies and tourists in South Korea to evacuate, saying the two countries are on the verge of nuclear war. The new threat appeared to be an attempt to keep the region on tenterhooks over its intentions.Analysts see a direct attack on Seoul as extremely unlikely, and there are no overt signs that North Korea’s 1.2 million-man army is readying for war, let alone a nuclear one. South Korea’s military has reported missile movements on North Korea’s east coast but nothing pointed toward South Korea.Still, North Korea’s earlier warning that it won’t be able to guarantee the safety of foreign diplomats after April 10 has raised fears that it will conduct a missile or nuclear test on Wednesday, resulting in U.S. retaliation.The United States and South Korea have raised their defense postures, and so has Japan, which deployed PAC-3 missile interceptors in key locations around Tokyo on Tuesday as a precaution against possible North Korean ballistic missile tests.Continue Reading… … Read More
A South Korean official admitted April 8th that he misspoke when he indicated that a new North Korean nuclear test was imminent, now insisting that all appears to be normal.Earlier April 8th, South Korean Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae said to a parliamentary committee that there were signs of nuclear test preparation at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, according to Voice of America, although he wouldn’t elaborate further.”We found there had been no unusual movements that indicated it wanted to carry out a nuclear test,” a Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said later that day via Radio Free Europe, backtracking from the earlier comments.Continue Reading… … Read More
BOSTON — It’s been a busy week for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.Over just a few days, he has unilaterally nullified the 1953 armistice with South Korea; vowed to restart his uranium enriching and plutonium programs; and issued “final approval” for “merciless” nuclear strikes against the United States.He taunted South Korea’s new leader, and shut down the Kaesong industrial estate, which served as unusual example of cooperation between the two Koreas. Most recently, he transported a missile to the east coast — either in an attempt to lob a warhead in America’s general direction (he lacks the capability to actually hit the continent), or more probably, to test it, perhaps on the April 15 birthday of deceased founding father Kim Il Sung. “Is there a more bizarre and frightening figure in the world today than North Korea’s young, impetuous and untested leader?” writes GlobalPost senior foreign affairs columnist Nicholas Burns.Continue Reading… … Read More