Koreas' Last Tie Now Basically Severed

North Korea to pull workers, suspend operations at Kaesong
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2013 7:41 AM CDT

(Newser) – North Korea has just one remaining economic link to South Korea, and it's about to be severed: Pyongyang today announced that it will recall its more than 53,000 workers from the Kaesong industrial complex and suspend operations at the border factories, the AP reports. There's no word on what will happen to the 475 South Korean managers remaining at Kaesong, which lies on the northern side of the border. Also unknown: If the North Korean workers will be recalled immediately, or if they'll show up for work tomorrow.

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Today's announcement came from the secretary of the ruling Workers' Party Central Committee, who called the move temporary and said the North will "examine the issue of whether it will allow its existence or close it," based in large part on what the New York Times calls "the Seoul government’s attitude." The industrial park is the largest provider of jobs in North Korea's third-largest city, with mostly women employed there, but the secretary rejected Seoul's depiction of the complex as being crucial to the North's economy, insisting most of the financial benefits go to the South. (Read more Pyongyang stories.)

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