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Production at Kaesong complex rises 25% despite wage tussle Updated: 2015-07-09 14:13:18 KST

Production at the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex, the last functioning symbol of inter-Korean cooperation, has risen despite the wage row that heightened tensions between the two Koreas.
Seoul's unification ministry said Thursday that 186 million U.S. dollars worth of goods were produced at the industrial park from January to April this year, jumping about 25-percent from the previous year.
The figure also rose about 20-percent in both March and April, when tensions between the two Koreas were high, after Pyongyang's unilateral demand for a five-percent wage hike the previous month.
Until the two Koreas came to a tentative agreement in May on the current wage level, there had been some concern about a slowdown in production over the possibility the wage tussle would make the North Koreans in the complex reluctant to work.
But experts say that wasn't the case.

"The North Koreans working at the complex are very skilled. Instead of being swayed away by external factors, the laborers had been focusing on improving productivity as their wages depend on how much they produce.

The council of South Korean firms operating in Kaesong also says that with North Korea having previously agreed to cooperate on improving production at the park, the wage row has not affected manufacturing volume.
The Kaesong complex, which began operating in 2004, logged a total production value of 15 million dollars in the following year.
Ten years later, the figure had jumped to 470 million dollars.
Production at the joint inter-Korean Kaesong factory zone accounted for 99-percent of inter-Korean trade last year.
Connie Kim Arirang News.
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