Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Two Koreas Achieve Pact to Reopen Joint Factory
North and South Korea on Wednesday agreed to a deal to reopen the Kaesong industrial complex, though a date for renewed production there has not yet been set, Yonhap News Agency reported.
The accord between the two nations came after North Korea issued a resolution to not shut down the facility again "under any circumstances," according to the Korean wire service. Additionally, the facility will "internationalize" by allowing foreign investors, a move that Seoul brought up during negotiations in an effort to make it less easy for North Korea to take action against the complex in the future, according to Yonhap.
A joint committee will be created to supervise the future of the industrial park and other issues that have arisen since its closure in early April, including restitution payments for lost revenue for South Korean plants, the wire service reported.
"Once the joint committee is set up and inspections and the refurbishment of manufacturing facilities takes place, companies will be allowed to go back to the complex and start operations," said a unification ministry official, as quoted by Yonhap. The joint committee will be made up of officials from both North and South Korea who have been participating in the daily management of the facility, the wire service reported.
The announcement comes just a week after North Korea signaled it was ready to begin a seventh round of talks over the complex.
In other news, U.N. inspectors arrived in Panama on Tuesday to begin inspections of the North Korean freighter that was found to be transporting hidden military equipment as it attempted to pass through the Panama Canal a month ago, CNN reported.
The inspectors arrived at the behest of the Panamanian government, who insisted that the United Nations handle the case.
International investigators will not comment publicly during the inspection and will instead wait to compile and publish a report of their findings, according to a statement from Panama's Security Ministry, cited by CNN. The inquiry is expected to end next Friday, according to the network.
The Chong Chon Gang's 35-person crew is expected to be returned to North Korea "soon, like in a month," although they could be "returned to Cuba and from there go to Korea," said a government official, according to a report in the London Guardian.
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