North Korea Threatens To Permanently Close Kaesong

Pyongyang claims Kaesong remains open to avoid incurring losses on S. Korean business people
April 4th, 2013

North Korea today threatened to permanently shut the Kaesong Industrial Complex in a video released by DPRK propaganda outlet Uriminzokkiri. A translation of the video commentary about the future of the industrial complex pointed out that North Korea had nothing to gain from keeping it open.

NK NEWS has a translation of the video, which is posted below:

South Korea based conservative media and groups opposed to North Korea, who have no grasp of reality or common sense, have recently been making rough comments about the Kaesong Industrial Complex.

They said that even though North Korea has proclaimed wartime conditions, North Korea cannot do anything about the Kaesong Industrial Complex because it is a “Large Scale Dollar Cashcow”. They said that it is hard for North Korea to give up Kaesong Industry, which shows the  two-faced nature of North Korea’s policy.

Even senior officials from the Blue house attacked our dignity, saying that even though North Korea cut off a line of communication in the West Sea area, the Kaesong Industrial Complex continued to operate normally, something that means North Korea is very well aware of the economic income from the Kaesong complex.

However, we are not the ones who makes a profit from Kaesong. It’s the entrepreneurs in South Korea.

Again, the reason why we didn’t yet close the Kaesong industrial complex during wartime conditions is because of the entrepreneurs in South Korea. If we close it, we know that a lot of South Koreans who are currently working and depending on the Kaesong industrial complex will suddenly be unemployed.

Rough words from South Korea will make for a serious mistake for their countrymen. If they keep bombarding us with negative words and violate our dignity, we will close Kaesong Industry right away.

Rumors that North Korea had given workers until April 10th to clear the Kaesong Industrial Complex burst onto the internet late Wednesday (early Thursday in Korea), but were quickly denied by the Ministry of Unification.

The Ministry said that a businessman was asked to submit a list of workers who planned to leave by next Wednesday, but misunderstood it as an order to leave the complex.

Thursday marked the second day in a row that South Korean workers were not allowed to enter the complex.

The Kaesong Industrial Complex was a joint venture between North Korea and South Korea begun during the Roh Moo-hyun administration, but was a product of a summit between Kim Dae-jung and Kim Jong Il. The complex features 123 South Korean companies who employ over 53,500 North Korean workers.

The complex is especially beneficial for North Korea, bringing in an estimated $470 million dollars in the past year alone.

North Korea has not indicated for how long entry to Kaesong will be banned. At present, access is only closed today; business could potentially resume tomorrow.