Final Closure of Kaesong Complex Draws Nearer

      August 06, 2013 09:11

      The government is apparently resigning itself to the permanent closure of the Kaesong Industrial Complex after North Korea failed to respond to a proposal of what Seoul called "final talks."

      Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-suk on Monday told reporters the government will wrap up a review early this week of whether to tap into the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund to compensate manufacturers who lost their business in the complex.

      On Sunday, Seoul warned its patience with North Korea over a date for fresh talks about the Kaesong Industrial Complex is running out.

      So far 109 out of 123 South Korean manufacturers that operated in the complex have applied to the government for W270 billion (US$1=W1,114) in compensation for losses resulting from the North's closure of the industrial park.

      Once they get the money, they must cede ownership of their factories to the government for disposal, so the payouts more or less seal the closure.

      Government sources say a committee overseeing the fund will make its decision as early as Tuesday.

      The ministry spokesman said the companies have to decide whether or not to accept the compensation payments, which will be made within three months of their application. Applications have been coming in since May.

      However, the government has apparently been unable to decide whether to shut off water and power supply to the industrial park, which would spell the end for the cross-border project.

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