Seoul invites Kaesong businesses to opening of inter-Korean liaison office

By Yonhap
  • Published : Sept 13, 2018 - 14:12
  • Updated : Sept 13, 2018 - 14:12

South Korean businessmen who had run companies in a now-shuttered industrial park in the North’s Kaesong were among those invited to the opening ceremony for an inter-Korean liaison office there, the Unification Ministry said Thursday.

The ministry, however, dismissed speculation that their participation might be related to efforts to resume the operation of the factory complex.

The government earlier unveiled a list of people who will join the opening ceremony to be held in the North’s border town Friday.

They include officials from the government, the National Assembly and academia, along with a few businesspeople who used to run companies in the Kaesong industrial park. 


This will mark the first visit to the industrial park by people who used to run companies in Kaesong since its 2016 closure.

“Their invitation has nothing to do with the resumption of the industrial park in Kaesong,” a Unification Ministry official said on condition of anonymity. “As far as I know, they were asked to join the ceremony as relevant people for the event.”

Since it was announced that the liaison office would be located in Kaesong, speculation has risen that it could somehow be linked to the government’s efforts to resume the operation of the industrial park.

Launched in 2004, the industrial park was hailed as a key symbol of economic cooperation between the Koreas as it combined South Korean capital and technology with cheap labor from the North.

South Korea, however, shut it down in 2016 in response to the North’s nuclear and missile tests. Washington has been apparently opposed to the resumption of its operation as it could run counter to sanctions imposed against North Korea.

The Unification Ministry that handles inter-Korean affairs earlier rejected a request for a trip to Kaesong by a group of people who used to do business there. They wanted to examine facilities that they left behind. (Yonhap)