Date
19 October 2017
Workers who have just returned to South Korea unload products from the Kaesong industrial park. Photo: Reuters
Workers who have just returned to South Korea unload products from the Kaesong industrial park. Photo: Reuters

S Korea cuts off power, water into Kaesong zone in N Korea

South Korea said Friday it has cut off the supply of power and water into the Kaesong industrial zone run jointly with North Korea.

The announcement came hours after the North kicked out the South’s workers and froze the assets of companies operating there, Reuters reported.

The suspension of operations at the factory park, operated for more than a decade as a symbol of cooperation, deepened the confrontation between the rivals by all but shutting down the last remaining window of regular interaction for the two Koreas.

South Korea said Wednesday it was suspending the operation of the industrial zone as punishment for the North’s rocket launch on Sunday and last month’s nuclear test. The North called the move “a declaration of war”.

The 280 South Koreans who had remained in Kaesong rushed to vacate the industrial park Thursday evening, completing the pullout at 11:05 p.m., the South’s Unification Ministry, which handles ties with the North, said.

The United States, Japan and South Korea said Sunday’s launch was a ballistic missile test, and like last month’s nuclear test, a violation of United Nations resolutions. They are seeking tougher sanctions against the North.

The Kaesong project, about 54 kilometers northwest of Seoul, employed about 55,000 North Koreans, who were given a taste of life in the South, working for the 124 mostly small and medium-sized manufacturers that operated there.

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