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Work begins on Kaesong liaison office

June 16,2018
A South Korean delegation is set to visit an industrial park in the North Korean border city of Kaesong on Tuesday and Wednesday to prepare for the opening of an inter-Korean liaison office there.

The Kaesong Industrial Complex was the last vestige of inter-Korean economic cooperation before the South Korean government pulled out in February 2016 following North Korea’s ballistic missile test and nuclear experimentation earlier that year.

But in April, after their first summit together, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed to establish a liaison office there to “facilitate close consultation between the authorities as well as smooth exchanges and cooperation between the people.”

To follow up on the agreement, Chun Hae-sung, a vice minister in the South’s Unification Ministry, which handles relations with the North, led a high-level delegation to Kaesong on June 8 to review the site. The facilities at the complex “appeared to be stable” overall, the Unification Ministry said afterward, save for the basement of two buildings that suffered some equipment damage.

This time, the delegation will include 17 working-level officials from the Unification Ministry, including Lee Sang-min, the ministry’s director of policy planning; representatives from the Kaeseong Industrial District Foundation, a state-backed agency that handles administrative affairs for the industrial park; and employees of Hyundai Asan, an arm of the South Korean conglomerate Hyundai Group that used to be involved in numerous North Korean projects.

BY HONG SU-MIN, SHIM KYU-SEOK [shim.kyuseok@joongang.co.kr]