May 16, 2009

S. Korea seeks talks on industrial complex

South Korean officials said Saturday they will continue efforts to hold talks with North Korea on the fate of their troubled joint industrial complex.

Officials want to press ahead for discussions despite North Korea's move to unilaterally void existing wage and rent contracts at Kaesong, Yonhap News Agency reported.

Given the analysis of the contents of North Korea's letter (to the South) and attitude, North Korea seems to be moving to shut down the Kaesong industrial zone, but not immediately, a government official said. Accordingly, the government will first make utmost efforts to resume talks on it.

Pyongyang said Friday it was invalidating wage and rent contracts with South Korea. The joint venture, which opened in 2005, is located in a North Korean town just north of the fortified border with South Korea.

Yonhap reported more than 38,000 North Koreans work at Kaesong for 101 South Korean firms.