North Korea Illegally Operating 10 Factories Belonging to South Korea
The Ministry of Unification of South Korea has announced that North Korea is illegally operating 10 factories that belong to South Korea in the Kaesong Industrial Complex on the border. The ministry has warned that legal action will be taken to protect the property rights of South Korean operators. A South Korean Ministry official, speaking to the press on condition of anonymity, stated that satellite imagery and intelligence confirm the unauthorized use of the factories by North Korea.
Recent satellite imagery, dated April 20, showed that 21 buildings in the Kaesong Industrial Complex were in use. The facility, which was established in 2004 and closed in February 2016, is a symbol of the inter-Korean reconciliation process. The closure was a response to North Korea’s nuclear program and long-range missile tests.
South Korea’s Unification Ministry has stated that it is reviewing ways to hold the Pyongyang government accountable for the unauthorized use of the industrial park, which is currently under joint North and South management. The Kaesong Industrial Complex is located in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, and South Korean investors have had difficulty accessing it due to sanctions imposed by the United States. The complex is important for both North and South Korea, as it generates income and provides jobs for workers in the region.
This development may further strain the already tense relationship between North and South Korea, and it remains to be seen how the situation will be resolved.