October 15, 2013 09:57
South Korea has called off a planned promotional event for foreign businesses on Oct. 31 aimed at attracting investment to the Kaesong Industrial Complex, which reopened on Sept. 16 some five months after the North closed it down.
"We can't hold an investment briefing now that North Korea has rejected talks on travel, communications, and customs clearance, the three matters foreign investors consider the most important," a Unification Ministry official said Monday.
"We proposed talks on these matters on Oct. 11 but there has been no response," the official added. "Maybe things will change when the North reacts."
The North has clammed up since it canceled a session of a subcommittee under the joint-Korean committee managing the industrial park scheduled for Sept. 26. It also abruptly canceled cross-border family reunions just a few days before the event was supposed to take place on Sept. 25-30.
"Since it attained its first goal to reopen the complex, the North has completely changed its attitude," said Cho Bong-hyun of the IBK Economic Research Institute, mainly because South Korea is wary of resuming lucrative package tours to North Korea's Mt. Kumgang resort.
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