N.Korea Lays Down Conditions for Reopening of Kaesong Complex

      May 06, 2013 09:49

      North Korea on Sunday laid out conditions to reopen the Kaesong Industrial Complex, which was left empty when all South Korean staff pulled out after the regime refused to discuss the matter.

      Pyongyang said Seoul must "stop all hostile activities and military provocations" if it is "sincerely worried about the fate of [the industrial park] and afraid of stalled inter-Korean relations."

      The North cited among these hostilities regular simulation wargames between South Korea and the U.S. planned for the summer.

      A spokesman for the North's National Defense Commission told the official KCNA news agency that Pyongyang objects to the arrival of the Nimitz Aircraft Carrier strike group in Busan Port this week and the simulation exercise dubbed "Ulchi Freedom Guardian" scheduled for August.

      The last group of South Korean staffers returned from the industrial park last Friday.

      A government official in Seoul was pessimistic. "The North objects to a South Korea-U.S. military exercise that hasn't even started yet. The North Korean regime evidently doesn't want to ease tensions by normalizing operations" at the complex.

      The North Korean spokesman called the evacuation of Kaesong a "political comic strip" based on a script written by South Korean authorities at the orders of the president.

      A former Unification Ministry official said this "clearly shows that they have no intention of coming to the dialogue table."

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