May 02, 2013 12:34
North Korea has so far been unable to explain back payments it is demanding from South Korea as firms evacuate the Kaesong Industrial Complex north of the border, Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-seok said Wednesday.
North Korea kept 43 South Koreans from leaving Kaesong for more than seven hours on Monday, demanding Seoul pay some US$8 million, but was unable to come up with a detailed invoice. Seven South Koreans are being kept back at the inter-Korean industrial park until the money is paid.
The government believes the demand was an ad-hoc attempt to maintain some leverage as the complex faces closure.
A government source said, "North Korea suddenly said there is an outstanding balance to pay before [the South Koreans] leave, but they spent a long time flapping and were unable to produce a detailed list of what is owed."
The seven South Koreans will therefore probably have to stay at the industrial park for a few more days until the issue is settled.
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