N. Korea threatens to pull its workers from joint industrial zone

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In this Sept. 21, 2012 photo, North Korean workers assemble Western-style suits at the South Korean-run ShinWon Corp. garment factory inside the Kaesong industrial complex in Kaesong, North Korea. On Wednesday, April 3, 2013, North Korea refused entry to South Koreans trying to cross the Demilitarized Zone to get to their jobs managing factories in the North Korean city of Kaesong. Pyongyang had threatened in recent days to close the border in anger over South Korea’s support of U.N. sanctions punishing North Korea for conducting a nuclear test in February. AP/Jean H. Lee

SEOUL  – North Korea threatened Thursday to pull its 53,000 workers from the Kaesong joint industrial zone with South Korea and close the complex, a day after it blocked access for South Korean personnel.

A spokesman for the North’s Committee for Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK) said it was responding to the South Korean defence minister’s statement Wednesday that there was a “military” contingency plan to ensure the safety of South Koreans in Kaesong.

“If the South Korean puppets and conservative news media keep badmouthing (us), we will order all our workers to pull out from Kaesong”, the spokesman was quoted as saying by the official KCNA news agency.

“The full closure of the complex is set to become a reality,” he added.

Pyongyang informed Seoul on Wednesday it was stopping the daily movement of South Koreans to Kaesong, the last real surviving point of contact between the two countries.

The South’s Unification Ministry said that as of midday Thursday (0300 GMT), there were 812 South Korean citizens in Kaesong, which lies 10 kilometres (six miles) inside North Korea.

The North has said the South Koreans in the complex could leave when they wanted, but hundreds opted to stay to keep their plants running.

Speaking to South Korean ruling party MPs on Wednesday, Defence Minister Kim Kwan-Jin reassured them that there was a contingency plan, “including possible military action,” in the event of the South’s citizens coming under threat.

The CPRK spokesman said Kim was “rambling” and warned that any military provocation against the Kaesong complex would result in the “self destruction of the enemy forces.”

Kaesong is “teetering on the verge of collapse,” he added.

Established in 2004, Kaesong is a crucial source of hard currency for North Korea.

Neither of the Koreas has allowed previous crises to significantly affect the complex, which is the only surviving example of inter-Korean cooperation and seen as a bellwether for stability on the Korean peninsula.

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  • joshmale2004

    NK threatened to fire nuclear warheads to America.
    NK threatened to fire nuclear warheads to SK, Guam, Hawaii
    NK threatened to melt the US forces in SK
    NK threatened to re open its nuclears reactors
    NK threatened to close Kaesong Industrial complex
    And now NK crying and accusing SK of bad mouthing them. Tonight will be a full moon for the lunatics.

    • mad_as_Hamlet

      * * * * *
      It’s part of their “hunger games” . . . and “hunger pangs.”

  • $18209031

    LEt these two warring Koreigooks fight it out . Its their feud right after WW2. Ousiders should stay out of this . WHy shed your blood on something thats not your fight. Let them deal with it.

    • $44479964

      Okay lang sana kung ikaw lang tatamaan ng Nuclear fallout.

  • ayaw ko ng CORRUPT!

    well i admire NK for being independent in many aspects and implementing policies strictly.but there was saying that NO MAN IS AN ISLAND. hindi naman pwedeng hindi sila papakealaman ng buong mundo! it is normal that we interact at hindi natin maiiwasan ang CONFLICT sa mga interaksyon. sometimes they have to widen its patience. hindi ung parang babaeng maarte na kapag nasagi ng konti eh over na magreact! mayabang naman ang mga matataas na lider ng NK porket meron silang maaasahan na pang-gera, but is that good?! NO!!
    saka masyado silang mahigpit na pati IINTERNET ACCESS ay ibabawal, hayyyy! pinagkakait nila ang mga opportunities ng mundo. everybody of us who live in this oblique spheroid planet should experience all that it has(except bad things of course).

  • jinx

    So, why doesn’t NK fire the first shot now? Get on with it fat boy, make it fast. Not only are we tired of hearing this war talk. You’re becoming a nuisance to the world as well.

  • $26149191

    Workers here are had a better feelings than those left behind, nothing to be eat. NK is China’s created monster that turns his back. No one can control him but by NK itself.

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