09/11/2013, 00.00
KOREA
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Korea , Seoul and Pyongyang reach agreement to reopen Kaesong

by Joseph Yun Li-sun
September 16th the inter-Korean industrial complex will restart operations. A reality the Archbishop of Seoul has often referred to as a "sign of peace and hope" for the peninsula . The South will enjoy a tax exemption for the current year . Family reunification plans also being finalized, due to be resumed after years on the Korean Thanksgiving .

Seoul (AsiaNews) - After five months of stalemate, the governments of Seoul and Pyongyang reached an overnight agreement to reopen the inter-Korean industrial complex of Kaesong . This is has been confirmed by the Unification Ministry in the South, according to which operations will resume on the 16th of September, followed a few days later ( 19 , Korean Thanksgiving Day ) - subject to a last-minute crisis - by a resumption in the reunification of families divided by the Korean War and the subsequent division of the peninsula .

According to the agreements signed between the two governments, the South Korean industries will be exempt from paying taxes to the end of 2013: the unpaid taxes of 2012, that the North had indicated as an excuse to block South Korean entrepreneurs access to the complex will instead be covered until the end of the year. Seoul and Pyongyang have also agreed to create a bilateral arbitration body - to be consulted in case of disagreement on wages and taxation - and to set up a radio identification system to facilitate access to the industrial area .

123 South Korean factories, which employ about 50 thousand workers from the North operate in the Kaesong industrial complex, located near the Demilitarized Zone. It is an important source of income for the disastrous economy of the Kim regime, brought to its knees by financial policies bankruptcy and spiraling military costs.

The closure of the inter-Korean industrial complex was decided unilaterally by Pyongyang in early April, the last act in a series of provocations and war propaganda that once again brought the peninsula to the brink of open conflict. Since mid-July the two governments have been trying to find "common ground" to authorize the reopening, but without reaching an agreement.


The Catholic Church in South Korea has repeatedly called for the reopening of the complex, defined by the Archbishop of Seoul "a symbol of peace and hope " for the future reunification of the country.

 

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