SEOUL, South Korea — Delegates from North and South Korea began talks today on restarting a stalled joint factory park that had been a symbol of cooperation between the bitter rivals.
The Kaesong industrial zone, just north of the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas, was the centerpiece of inter-Korean projects hatched during a previous era of warming ties.
But it was closed in April as tensions rose between the rivals when South Korea held military exercises with the U.S. troops not far from the border, which led to North Korea pulling its 53,000 workers out of the industrial park in protest. South Korea then ordered its managers to leave as well, against their wishes.
South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which is in charge of relations with North Korea, said the two sides began the working-level talks at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the DMZ.
The two agreed to discuss retrieving products that the South Korean managers left behind at the industrial complex in North Korea and inspecting the facilities. They will also discuss restarting work at the park.
Today’s talks come after a protocol disagreement last month resulted in the Koreas calling off what would have been the first senior-level meeting in years.