The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a country in East Asia, located in the northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering South Korea and China. Its capital, Pyongyang, is the country's largest city by both land area and population. It is a single-party state led by the Korean Workers' Party (KWP), and governed by Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un since 2012. It has a population of 24,052,231 (UN-assisted DPRK census 2008) made up of Koreans and a smaller Chinese minority. Japan 'opened' Korea in 1876 and annexed it in 1910. The Republic of Korea (ROK) was founded with US support in the south in August 1948 and the Soviet-backed Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the north in September that year.
Pyongyang blames South Korean leader Park for Kaesong closure
North Korea on Thursday renewed a threat to permanently close its Kaesong joint industrial zone with South Korea, blaming the “confrontation” policies of the South’s new president, Park Geun-hye.
Pyongyang announced the withdrawal of its 53,000 workers and the suspension of operations at Kaesong at the beginning of this week, as military tensions on the Korean peninsula soar.
Park, who was sworn in at the end of February, described the move as “very disappointing” and warned the North it would severely impact the trust of future investors.
“Needless to say Kaesong industrial district will cease to exist should the Park Geun-hye regime continue pursuing confrontation,” the North’s Bureau for Central Guidance to the Development of the Special Zone said.
“The current power-holder in the South can never be able to shake off responsibility for having Kaesong, which survived even the traitor Lee Myung-bak’s term in office, all but closed,” a bureau spokesman said.
During her presidential campaign, Park had said she would be more flexible in dealing with the North than her predecessor Lee, who took a hardline stance toward Pyongyang.
But the North’s recent nuclear tensions sparked a cycle of escalating tensions that have put rapprochement on the far back burner.
The bureau spokesman said South Korean “warmongering” had been responsible for the decision to suspend the activity of the 123 South Korean firms in Kaesong, which lies 10 kilometres inside the North.
Pyongyang had been incensed by Defence Minister Kim Kwan-jin’s remarks that the South had a “military” contingency plan to ensure the safety of its people working in the zone.
It was also angered by South Korean media and analysts saying that the North would not dare to close Kaesong – a crucial source of hard currency for the impoverished state.