Saturday, 18 January 2020

North Korea Shuts Access to Kaesong

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  • Two F-22 Raptor stealth jets ready for take-off at the US military base in Osan, South Korea, in a joint military exercise  between the two allies (4/3).  AP/Bae Jung-hyun, Yonhap

    Two F-22 Raptor stealth jets ready for take-off at the US military base in Osan, South Korea, in a joint military exercise between the two allies (4/3). AP/Bae Jung-hyun, Yonhap

    TEMPO.CO, Pyongyang – North Korea on Wednesday (4/3) banned South Korean workers from crossing the border to Kaesong industrial park, a commercial zone jointly managed by the two Koreas. 

    The blockade is the latest scenario in a feud between North and South Korea following the UN Security Council’s new resolution. In March the UN issued the resolution as punishment to North Korea for the missile launch in December last year and a third nuclear test on February12.

    After the resolution was published, Pyongyang threatened to attack South Korea and US bases in Guam. North Korea also cut off its military communications network with South Korea and the US, and declared war against its southern neighbor on Saturday.

    The Kaesong industrial zone hosts 120 factories and employs more than 53,000 North Koreans and hundreds of South Korean managers. South Korean workers are given daily permits to cross the border into the industrial park.

    This is not the first ban on South Korean workers entering Kaesong. In March 2009, a similar ban was imposed after the North's response to annual military exercises carried out by the US and South Korea.

    Meanwhile, the Indonesian government has made no plans to evacuate Indonesian citizens living in North Korea.

    "We are all staying alert, but there are no plans to evacuate our citizens at the moment," Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said in Jakarta yesterday.

    REUTERS | BBC | NATALIA SANTI | ABDUL MANAN