All SKorean nationals to leave from NKorea factory

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10:39 AM April 29th, 2013

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April 29th, 2013 10:39 AM

A South Korean vehicle carrying boxes, returning from the North Korean city of Kaesong arrives at the customs, immigration and quarantine office near the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April 9, 2013. North Korean workers didn’t show up for work at the Kaesong industrial complex, a jointly run factory with South Korea on Tuesday, a day after Pyongyang suspended operations at the last remaining major economic link between rivals locked in an increasingly hostile relationship. AP/Lee Jin-man

SEOUL, South Korea— South Korea is preparing to pull out its last remaining nationals from a shuttered factory park in North Korea and empty out the complex for the first time since its 2004 opening.

The withdrawal of the 50 South Koreans would also raise a serious question about the future of the Kaesong complex, the last symbol of inter-Korean rapprochement.

Operation at Kaesong have been suspended since early April when North Korea barred South Korean factory managers and supply trucks from entering the park and withdrew all its 53,000 workers amid tension with Seoul and Washington.

Seoul on Saturday began pulling out its nationals from Kaesong after Pyongyang rejected its dialogue offer.

Seoul’s Unification Ministry says it’s waiting for North Korea’s approval for the remaining South Koreans to leave Kaesong on Monday.

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