Two Koreas Agree to Rare Meeting

Will discuss shared factory complex amid international tension

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 19, 2009 8:39 AM CDT

(Newser) – South Korea has agreed to North Korea's rare request for talks over a shared factory park, Reuters reports. South Korea will send 10 envoys north of the border Tuesday to discuss the Kaesong complex, where the North has been holding a South Korean worker for weeks after he derided its communist system. “Our priorities are the security of South Koreans and development of the Kaesong industrial town,” said a Unification Ministry spokeswoman.

Pyongyang says it plans to restart a plant that makes weapons-grade plutonium after the UN slammed its recent rocket launch. “The military threat escalated by the hostile forces, challenging even the satellite launch for peaceful purposes, compels North Korea to further increase its nuclear deterrent,” a state newspaper said today. North Korea told South Korea that any support for the US weapons crackdown would be considered an act of war.

South Korean vehicles heading to the North Korean city of Kaesong wait to pass the gate at the customs, immigration and quarantine office near a border village in South Korea on April 6, 2009.
South Korean vehicles heading to the North Korean city of Kaesong wait to pass the gate at the customs, immigration and quarantine office near a border village in South Korea on April 6, 2009.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
A North Korean guard post, bottom, placed near the North-South industrial complex in Kaesong, is seen April 2, 2009.
A North Korean guard post, bottom, placed near the North-South industrial complex in Kaesong, is seen April 2, 2009.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
South Korea's conservative activists hold pictures of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during a rally against North Korea's rocket launch in Seoul, South Korea, on April 16, 2009.
South Korea's conservative activists hold pictures of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during a rally against North Korea's rocket launch in Seoul, South Korea, on April 16, 2009.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
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