January 19, 2011 08:16
Six of nine commercial facilities in the joint Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex have closed, it emerged on Tuesday.
According to the Unification Ministry, a supermarket, a beer hall, a karaoke and a billiard hall in the Songak Plaza, the industrial park hotel operated by Hyundai Asan, closed on Dec. 1, right after North Korea's shelling of Yeonpyeong Island. Already in February a massage parlor closed, and in August a Japanese restaurant.
Only a duty-free shop and Korean and Chinese restaurants managed directly by Hyundai Asan stay open. A staffer at the industrial park said the reason is that the number of South Korean staffers in the industrial park, who were the main customers of the facilities, has dropped sharply.
There were some 1,200 to 1,500 South Koreans at the industrial park until the North's sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan in March and its shelling of Yeonpyeong in November, but the number dropped to about 500 recently.
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