Bloomberg News

N. Korea Talks on Reopening Industrial Zone Canceled, South Says

June 11, 2013

Talks between North and South Korea scheduled for tomorrow to discuss the reopening of a joint industrial park were canceled, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry didn’t provide an explanation for why the negotiations were called off. Yonhap reported earlier that South Korea wanted minister-level talks whereas North Korea was insisting that lower-level officials attend the meeting. There had not been any official details on which officials from North and South Korea would attend the talks.

Kim Jong Un, who succeeded his father in December 2011, ratcheted up tensions earlier this year by threatening preemptive nuclear strikes after the United Nations tightened sanctions for a rocket launch in December and atomic bomb test in February. He also shut the Gaeseong factory zone in April, blocking South Korean managers and workers from entering the area.

The joint industrial park generates about $100 million in annual profits for the impoverished regime. It remained open during previous periods of tension, including tests of nuclear weapons and missiles in both 2006 and 2009, and the 2010 deaths of 50 South Koreans in a ship sinking and the shelling of a South Korean border island by the North.

To contact the reporters on this story: Peter Hirschberg in Hong Kong at phirschberg@bloomberg.net; Sangwon Yoon in Seoul at syoon32@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson at rmathieson3@bloomberg.net


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