March 25, 2019 10:40
North Korea on Friday abruptly withdrew its officials from the joint liaison office in Kaesong, but South Korea said it would continue working there regardless.
Some 20 South Korean officials are working at the office but usually come home at the weekend.
About the same number of North Korean officials have commuted between Pyongyang and Kaesong. But only a few meetings have been held between the chief officials from the two sides since it opened in September last year. Only one such meeting was held this year -- on Feb. 1.
The liaison office was set up under an agreement between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during their first summit in April last year. It consists of an office building and an apartment building for officials.
Seoul paid the total cost of W9.78 billion from the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund between July and September last year, which included refurbishing a water purifying plant and drainage system in the nearby Kaesong Industrial Complex (US$1=W1,135).
Seoul also spent W3.47 billion running the facilities between September and December and has allocated W6.16 billion in operating costs for this year.
The electricity is supplied by South Korea, while drinking water comes from the water purifying plant.
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