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Global Security Newswire

Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

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North Korea Signals Readiness to Reopen Joint Factory

North Korea on Wednesday said it was prepared to reopen the Kaesong industrial complex, a joint economic site where South Korean businesses employ more than 50,000 workers from the North, the New York Times reported.

The facility has been closed for months as a result of simmering tensions with Seoul. Talks aimed at restarting work there had recently foundered.

However, Pyongyang said in a released statement that it seeks a solution to the dispute, the newspaper reported.

The announcement could portend a positive shift in relations for the two nations. Their relationship soured following the test detonation of a nuclear device by the North in February.

Pyongyang proposed another round of talks and assured that after reopening the plant, South Korean managers who oversee the complex would be assured of their safety, the Times reported.

The South Korean government accepted the proposal for another round of talks almost instantly, according to the Wall Street Journal. South Korea on July 29 had called for a final round of talks and issued a warning of unspecified "grave" consequences to the North if the industrial park was not reopened.

Those talks will take place on Aug. 14, the newspaper reported. The sixth round of talks fell apart in late July

An unidentified South Korean government source said the offer of resumed talks was accepted because North Korea "did not blame the South for the current impasse and did not make warnings of future arbitrary closures," Yonhap News Agency reported. 

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