Tue, Jun 25, 2019 - Page 10 News List

N Korea made US$120m a year from Kaesong: ICG

AFP, SEOUL

North Korea earned more than US$120 million a year from a symbolic cross-border industrial zone that Pyongyang and Seoul are pushing to reopen as part of nuclear negotiations, a report said yesterday.

The Kaesong Industrial Complex — where about 55,000 North Koreans churned out products ranging from watches to clothes for about 125 South Korean companies — was shuttered by Seoul in 2016 in response to a nuclear test and missile launches by the North, saying profits from Kaesong were funding Pyongyang’s provocations.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has dangled reopening the complex as an incentive for Pyongyang to engage in nuclear talks.

The International Crisis Group (ICG) yesterday called for the complex to be reopened with “a modest deal involving sanctions relief.”

Doing so would create “much needed momentum for stalled peace talks and serve as a reminder to both North and South Korea of the benefits of building a sustainable peace on the peninsula,” it said.

The zone gave the North foreign investment in its infrastructure, employment for its people and “much-needed revenue in hard currency,” ICG said in a report.

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