SEOUL, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Investor relations (IR) session for the Kaesong industrial complex, which was scheduled to be held later this month, was canceled amid escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Seoul's unification minister said Tuesday.
"North Korea (DPRK) sent the notice that it is not appropriate to hold the IR session under current circumstances," Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae told lawmakers at the annual parliamentary session to audit government offices that will run for 20 days through Nov. 2.
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) sent such notice on Tuesday in response to South Korea's offer to delay the investment briefing, which was intended to encourage foreigners to invest into the reopened factory park in the DPRK's border town of Kaesong.
The Kaesong industrial zone, where 123 South Korean companies run factories, was reopened in mid-September after the five-month- long hiatus. The two Koreas agreed to hold the IR session for foreign investors on Oct. 31 to step up efforts to develop the factory park into one complying with international standards.
Seoul reportedly delivered to Pyongyang its stance last Friday that the IR session's intentions could be damaged under the current security situation on the Korean Peninsula that escalated after the DPRK unilaterally postponed the reunion event for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.
Since the delay of the reunion, the DPRK mobilized the National Defense Commission and the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea to criticize South Korean President Park Geun-hye by her name. The General Staff of the Korean People's Army said on Oct. 8 that all DPRK troops had been ordered to be mobilized for operations at any time, shifting into confrontation mode from the prior dialogue mode from June through September.
Meanwhile, Minister Ryoo told lawmakers that the DPRK has strained inter-Korean relations by denouncing South Korea continuously and delaying the reunion event for separated families unilaterally, while failing to dismantle its nuclear program.
South Korea's spy agency confirmed on Oct. 8 that the DPRK has restarted its 5-megawatt plutonium-producing reactor in the Yongbyon nuclear complex since around August of this year.
It was the first official confirmation from the National Intelligence Service (NIS). The complex, located around 90 kilometers north of Pyongyang, was known to house nuclear facilities such as centrifuges for uranium enrichment.
Ryoo said the DPRK should clearly recognize the flow of history and should join Seoul's efforts to enhance inter-Korean ties, urging Pyongyang to make a right choice and recognize what would be a right way for its own development.
S.Korea, DPRK open Kaesong committee secretariat
SEOUL, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Monday opened a permanent committee secretariat on Kaesong complex to prevent work stoppage of the inter- Korean factory park, Yonhap news agency quoted the unification ministry as saying. Full story
S. Korea slams DPRK's repeated condemnation of President Park
SEOUL, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- South Korea on Monday denounced the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s repeated condemnation of President Park Geun-hye by her name.
"It is very regrettable that North Korea (DPRK) recently continues its raw criticism (against President Park)," Seoul's Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Eui-do told a press briefing. Full story