South Korea, North Korea open Kaesong secretariat

Seoul, Sep 30 (IANS) South Korea and North Korea Monday opened a permanent committee secretariat at Kaesong complex to prevent work stoppage at the inter-Korean factory park, South Korea's unification ministry said.

The newly launched committee, consisted officials from South Korea and North Korea, give Seoul an equal say on the zone, which had been managed solely by Pyongyang in the past, reported Xinhua citing Yonhap news agency.

The secretariat will provide administrative support to the joint committee and four subcommittees, officials said, adding that eight officials from South Korea and five from North Korea will be assigned to the secretariat initially.

The two sides decided to set up the secretariat in mid-August as part of agreements considered as a milestone for reopening the Kaesong complex.

Seoul and Pyongyang also agreed to hold the first investor relation event in Kaesong Oct 31 to encourage foreign companies to invest into the reopened factory park.

The jointly operated factory park in North Korea's border town of Kaesong was reopened Sep 16 after remaining close for five months.

The Kaesong industrial zone, where 123 South Korean companies run factories, came to a halt in early April when North Korea pulled out all of its 53,000 workers from Kaesong in protest against the joint annual military exercises between Washington and Seoul.

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