Skip to comments.(3rd LD) N. Korean workers fail to report to work at Kaesong complex
Posted on 04/08/2013 10:03:12 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
SEOUL, April 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korean workers failed to show up for work at the inter-Korean industrial complex in the North's border city of Kaesong on Tuesday, bringing their operations to a complete halt and putting the complex's future in limbo.
The Ministry of Unification said workers did not report to work as the North announced the day before that it would pull out all of its laborers in protest of South Korean provocations. Pyongyang claimed that Seoul was using Kaesong to find a pretext for igniting war.
"All manufacturing sector workers did not report to work, although security personnel hired to guard factories, and North Korean administrative personnel at the Kaesong Industrial District Management Committee showed up for duty," a ministry official said.
He added that the North did not schedule bus services to transport workers to the complex, located just north of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas.
A total of 123 South Korean companies employ 53,000 North Koreans at the industrial part that produces around US$40 million worth of goods every month. South Korean companies pay the workers $87 million per year in salaries.
The official, who declined to be identified, added Seoul will never take action to close down or withdraw from the joint venture and will continue to emphasize that actions taken by the North are unacceptable and should be reversed.
"South Korea's stance remains resolute on this matter," the official stressed and pointed out that Kaesong's significance should be looked at in terms of future of South-North relations.
Announcing the unilateral withdrawal of its laborers, Pyongyang also said operations at the complex will be suspended temporarily so the North can examine the issue of whether or not to permit future operations at the complex.
The latest move poses the most serious challenge to the industrial complex that started producing goods in late 2004. The two Koreas had not taken steps to disrupt Kaesong operations even after the sinking of a South Korean warship and the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island in 2010.
Before pulling its people out, the North announced Wednesday that it will not permit South Korean personnel and materials into the complex as it fueled tension along the DMZ.
The official said, for the moment, top priority for the South was to ensure the safety of South Korean workers and property at the industrial zone.
"Seoul will respect the wishes of businesses at Kaesong on a future course of action, but the government must, at the same time, do its job to protect its citizens, especially since there is nothing they can do over there," the official said, hinting that measures will be taken to ask all non-essential personnel to return home.
There are usually some 800 South Koreas at the complex, although the number stands at just 475 at present, with 77 expected to return home during the day.
Meanwhile, presidential spokesman Yoon Chang-jung denied speculations by some local media that South Korea is bracing for all possibilities over the fate of the factory park, including its closure.
"The government remains unchanged in its position that the Kaesong industrial complex should continue normal operations," Yoon said. "It is not true that the government has been drawing up measures with the shutdown of the Kaesong industrial complex in mind."
Yoon also said all responsibilities for Kaesong's suspension lie with North Korea.
"The government will appropriately handle this while urging North Korea to make the right choice," he said.
Other government sources said companies at Kaesong that suffer losses will be covered to some extent by the special insurance policy set up for companies operating in the zone. They said for losses that exceed the coverage, separate talks can be arranged to see what can be done. It has been estimated that losses could reach 6 trillion won (US$5.2 billion).
"There are agreements that cover losses and damages to property that were signed when the complex was set up, but the problem has always been that the North opts not to respect them," an independent observer said.
Related to Pyongyang not respecting agreements, the North's actions to disrupt operations and limit movement not only violates the 2003 economic cooperation pact, but the 2005 agreement on safe passage and the 2002 law that North Korea set up to regulate the Kaesong zone.
Experts said in regards to Kaesong, most clauses demand both sides discuss and agree on measures that could impact the complex. They warned that the latest actions by the North will eventually hurt the country because it will scare off foreign investors.
It has to be said that the North Korean leadership is clinically insane, and the fact that they have one of the largest armies in the world is somewhat disquieting.
Fortunately, it is also one of the hungriest armies in the world, and the troops all have families who are starving to death.
In the event of war, the initial outburst may, in fact, be followed by mass surrenders, if only for the food.
Still, it would be an extremely ugly - and intensely violent - event.
The workers have no choice in the matter, of course
All NorK troops being trained to order cheeseburgers!
"Na hante chijeu juseyo"
Na= me, hante=(arriving?), chijeu=(cheesburger), jusayo=(give me, please)
and the Yo at the end makes it a polite sentence.
The poor troops are clearly being abused: no one’s teaching them to say, “and give me fries and a large Coke with that...”
SK did not see this coming:
na-ege gamja twigimgwa kolla deung eul jegong
But when I added the period at the end it became:
na-ege gamja twigimgwa ppunman anilakollaleul juseyo.
gamja is potato
kolla is self-explanatory
We need to send large cargo planes over the NK lines, dropping papers that tell the troops to advance on South Korean lines chanting, “I surrender; send me to Hollywood, I want to meet American blonde with big juggs.”
The war will be over in half a day.
Since they sunk the Cheonan, th North has been producing midget subs at every shipyard!
Yup, I have thought that for some time. Plus, the top brass may surrender and/or affect a coup on Kimmy Fatboy. Other than the crazy death cult of Islam, most people in the world actually want to live, no matter their political leanings or indoctrination. I'm sure the top brass in NORK know more than just the communist doctrine. I sometimes see it in their faces with their phony smiles for the Jung dynasty.
Interestingly, every photo I've seen of Fatboy-Ronery, I notice how thin his generals are that stand around him with their plastic smiles. The eyes tell all and their eyes tell me that their smiles are not genuine.
The other day I saw a very brief clip of the yung fat one seated at a desk, reviewing paperwork, with a lit cigarette in his right hand. That’s the first time I’ve seen evidence that he is a smoker.
(It would be interesting to see the “Cheeburger Sketch” in Korean.
You come up with some AMAZING pictures, Joe!
Expect the 479 S Korean managers to be “expelled” tomorrow. The 4 Chinese managers will stay on with maintenance crews for the annual spring cleanup.
The 53,000 NK workers and their 100,000 family members will be quite busy doing spring planting.
The SK workers posed a major security risk for the NK Second Army Corps.
Sat photos show that all four army corps reserves mobilized for combat exercises over the past few months have turned in their weapons to their local Ministry of People’s Safety on 1, April and went back to work gathering fertilizer for spring planting.
Worker and Peasant Red Guards have to grow their own food. Sat photos show they did not carry weapons and backpacks in the fields or in the streets after 1, April as they are required when mobilized about 1, February. Now they are all carrying shovels and hoes.
When mobilized, the Guards relocate to caves and tunnels in the mountains, and now they have gone back to garrison.
Remember, the DPRK are absolute experts at incitement and propaganda. The S Koreans often deliver translations of NK statements that are not accurate.
NK statements always have a backdoor way out that lets them walk backward from hardline statements. That rarely comes through the SK translations.
Posters about self defense have been replaced with posters about the economy.
Or they could just do the Steve Miller version, “Somebody give me a cheeseburger.”