South Korean lawmakers make rare visit to Gaeseong Complex
South Korea's Unification Ministry said a 21-member delegation from the National Assembly's Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee arrived at the Gaeseong Industrial Complex on Wednesday morning, but stressed the trip was arranged separately from the ongoing parliamentary audit.
"As you know, the on-site inspection by the National Assembly's Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee is being conducted for the normalization of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex and for a better understanding of the resident companies there. It is being conducted separately from the parliamentary audit."
This is the first time lawmakers have visited the joint business park under the Park Geun-hye administration.
The delegation was briefed on the current state of the complex by the head of the Gaeseong Industrial District Management Committee and will conduct on-site inspections of factories and other facilities.
The lawmakers will also meet with South Korean businessmen with factories in the complex.
While no meeting has been arranged with a North Korean representative, the possibility of such an encounter remains.
Operations at Gaeseong came to a halt in April, when North Korea pulled all of its workers out amid an escalation in inter-Korean tensions.
The factories began running again in September after Pyongyang promised to prevent future unilateral closures following a series of talks between the two Koreas.
The lawmakers said the information gathered from their trip will be reflected in various pieces of legislation concerning the Gaeseong Industrial Complex, sparking hope for progress on Seoul's efforts to revitalize the inter-Korean business park.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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