Two Koreas remains at odds over timing of reopening Gaeseong Industrial Complex
The last remaining obstacle to a reopening of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex is about WHEN to reopen it.
In the first meeting on Monday of the joint committee that will be responsible for managing the joint factory zone, Pyongyang made it clear they would like operations at the joint business park to resume as soon as possible.
But a South Korean government official said Tuesday that unless North Korea complies with a set of regulatory measures and reinstates a military hotline near the West Sea, the Gaeseong complex will remain shuttered.
That hotline was cut in March shortly before Pyongyang pulled all of its workers out of Gaeseong.
The South is putting emphasis on the hotline because people can only gain entry to and exit from the complex after getting approval from the Joint Security Area at Panmunjeom, and only during working hours.
In those times that Panmunjeom is closed, the military hotline near the West Sea keeps the line of communication open in the event of an emergency.
The two Koreas promised to carry out discussions before the next committee meeting on September 10th, to come up with ways to strengthen business regulations and normalize the complex.
In the meantime, meetings for the two subcommittees in charge of asset protection and global competitiveness will be held on Wednesday, followed by subcommittee meetings on customs, communications, personnel safety and passage on Thursday.
"With the two sides failing to reach an agreement on when to reopen the complex, attention now turns to the second joint committee meeting, and to whether North Korea will comply with the basic standards set by the South."
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.
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