N. Korea to Let S. Korean Managers Back In

Proposes talks to reopen Kaesong industrial complex

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted May 28, 2013 8:23 AM CDT

(Newser) – Is North Korea ready to play nice? Pyongyang today invited officials and businessmen from South Korea to discuss reopening the Kaesong industrial complex, a joint venture in the North's territory that was shut down last month during Pyongyang's temper tantrum. Seoul had previously proposed government talks on reopening the factories, but North Korea had rejected that idea. But now, permission has been given for South Korean business reps to return to Kaesong to do maintenance, and the North has agreed to "discuss the shipment of products at the industrial complex" and a normalization of operations, according to the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea.

South Korea's Unification Ministry was wary of the move, believing talks should be held by the governments, not businessmen, Yonhap News reports. But one expert believes the North is hoping these talks "pave the way" to government-level discussions. In other news from the Korean peninsula, operations have been halted or delayed at four South Korean nuclear reactors after it was discovered that some of the components used had fake safety certificates, the New York Times reports. It's just the latest of many problems to hit Seoul's nuclear power industry, and leaves just 13 of the country's 23 reactors online, leading to concerns of summer power shortages.

Empty gates for North Korea's Kaesong city are seen at the customs, immigration, and quarantine office near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, Friday, May 3, 2013.
Empty gates for North Korea's Kaesong city are seen at the customs, immigration, and quarantine office near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, Friday, May 3, 2013.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
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