All South Koreans have returned from the complex.
For the details of the statement released by Pyongyang late this afternoon, we connect live to our Unification Ministry Correspondent Connie Kim at Seoul's unification ministry.
Connie give us the details.
This just coming in, some 280 south koreans
There were 184 South Koreans inside the industrial park.
There were concerns of another inter-Korean tension, as North Korea said it will expel South Koreans at 5:30 p.m. South Korean time.
South Korean government had said it will do its best to bring back its citizens safely from the complex.
Ministry officials have made their last efforts to bring them back. So fortunately, we won't be seeing any South Koreans detained inside the complex.
North Korea has announced it will expel all South Koreans from the inter-Korean industrial complex, while freezing all South Korean assets.
the announcement was made abruptly today?
It was indeed.
The announcement came half an hour before the last time slot scheduled for South Koreans to leave Kaesong.
In a statement from North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea on Thursday, Pyongyang said it is closing down the complex and designating the area as a military control zone.
The inter-Korean military hotline will also be cut off.
It also added it will be freezing all assets and equipment held by the South Korean companies operating in the complex.
The statement released by the North also slammed Seoul for saying that Pyongyang took advantage of the operations in advancing its missile capabilities.
The measures come as South Korea on Wednesday said it will suspend operations at the park in response to Pyongyang's nuclear test and long-range missile launch.
Seoul said the suspension is aimed at cutting off money for further nuclear and missile development
Connie, this is day one for the South Korean businessmen withdrawing their workers from the inter-Korean industrial park after Seoul announced it is suspending operations at the complex.
I wonder how the businessmen took the news.
Well Connyoung, earlier in the day I was at the Inter-Korean Transit Office in Paju where I was able to meet with some South Korean business owners and hear about their thoughts on the announcement made by Seoul.
A day after South Korea announced it was shutting down the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex, South Koreans with businesses in the park set out for the North Korean border town early on Thursday morning to start the work of withdrawing their workers and equipment.
With Pyongyang having agreed to Seoul's proposed schedule for moving its workers in and out of Kaesong, a total of 132 South Koreans were able to enter the complex.
On their way in, business owners expressed a mixture of disappointment and anger over Seoul's decision to close down the last remaining symbol of inter-Korean economic cooperation.
"South Koreans with factories at the complex are trying their best, but what we got is sudden notice to pull out. What did we do wrong? The country would be better off if the companies were allowed to prosper."
"We have about a two-month supply of products stored up. If the government had given us some kind of notice beforehand, we could have balanced out production. I personally don't think it will be easy for the industrial park to re-open after this."
That prediction could very well prove true.
When the South Koreans arrived at the complex, it was as if North Korea had told its workers not to report for duty.
Some 280 buses reportedly arrived at the complex as usual, but all of them were empty inside.
"The North Korean workers did their jobs as usual on Wednesday. They followed the orders given by the South Koreans,… but they didn't know about the suspension until they left work that day.(Pause) They were probably notified today."
Although some of the factory and company owners entering the complex were willing to share their thoughts on the shutdown on their way in, most of those returning from Kaesong remained tight-lipped about the situation and seemed reluctant to comment.
"We respect the government's orders and have no choice but to listen to the Kaesong Industrial District Management Committee."
Now that all South Koreans returned safely, Seoul is seeking a quick resolution of the issue of unpaid wages.
So we'll have to see how that unfolds Connyoung?