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Kaesongi

Kaesong is a special administrative region of North Korea formed in 2002 featuring the Kaesong Industrial Park, a collaborative economic development zone with South Korea. The park is located 10 kilometres north of the Korean Demilitarised Zone and allows South Korean companies to employ cheap skilled labour whilst providing North Korea with an important source of foreign currency.

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South Korea has identified the man only by his surname, Kim, and said he was the ‘runaway’ who North Korea accuses of illegally crossing the border last week with symptoms of Covid-19.

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One is an evangelist with a three-tonne truck, while another has a propensity for ‘media stunts’. All operate amid debate on whether it is even the best way to reach out to those in the North.

In an impoverished nation, and just a few minutes' drive from the world's most heavily armed border, stands an unlikely outpost of capitalism.

North and South Korea held the first meeting yesterday of a committee tasked with reopening their Kaesong joint industrial zone - five months after it was shut down amid soaring military tensions.

North and South Korea reached an agreement yesterday to reopen the Kaesong joint industrial zone - closed by Pyongyang in April at the height of soaring military tensions.

South Korea has proposed "final" talks with the North over the fate of the shuttered Kaesong joint industrial zone, suggesting it may permanently close the estate if the negotiations fail.

North Korea on Friday blasted South Korea’s “arrogant” attitude after talks on salvaging the jointly-run Kaesong industrial zone collapsed, sparking a shoving match between officials from both sides.

South Korea said talks with North Korea on reopening a jointly-run industrial estate ended without agreement on Wednesday, but the two sides agreed to meet again next week.

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The talks - delayed by nearly two hours - follow months of friction and threats of war from Pyongyang after its February nuclear test led to tougher UN sanctions, further squeezing its struggling economy.

North Korea barred a delivery of supplies to South Koreans in the closed Kaesong industrial zone yesterday, as the South's president said it was time to stop rewarding Pyongyang's provocations. A delegation of 10 businessmen representing the 123 South Korean firms in Kaesong had applied to travel to the zone to bring food and other daily necessities to their staff and to inspect their facilities.

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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.

Greeted largely with indifference, yesterday's advice from the North follows a similar warning last week to embassies in Pyongyang - to consider evacuating by April 10 as war may break out.

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North Korea said on Tuesday the Korean Peninsula was headed for “thermonuclear” war and advised foreigners in South Korea to consider evacuation, in the latest in a series of apocalyptic threats.

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North Korea’s decision to pull its workers out of the Kaesong joint industrial zone and suspend all commercial operations at the complex “cannot be justified,” South Korea said on Monday.

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Twenty-two students from Chinese International School watched teenagers practise military drills in Pyongyang, took photos with "friendly" soldiers in the demilitarised zone and stayed two days in the region of Kaesong.

North Korea has found a new way of getting attention that stands out from its increasingly threatening rhetoric. Denying access to its joint industrial zone with the South may be shooting itself in the foot, but it escalates a military crisis beyond improbable and suicidal military threats against the US as well as South Korea.