Seoul – North and South Korea have agreed to restart operations at the shuttered Kaesong industrial zone, Seoul says.
The two sides set a date for a ‘trial’ restart of September 16 after talks that went through the night, the South’s Unification Ministry said.
Work at the complex stopped in April when the North withdrew its workers amid high political tension.
The zone, just inside North Korea, is home to 123 South Korean factories that employ more than 50,000 North Koreans. It is the last functioning inter-Korean joint project and a key source of revenue for Pyongyang.
Operations will ‘resume on a trial basis from September16’, a statement from the Unification Ministry said.
South Korean firms will be exempt from taxes for the rest of the year to offset losses incurred while the complex was closed, it said.
The Unification Ministry also said that the two Koreas planned to host a roadshow to try and attract foreign investors to the zone in October.
Allowing foreign investors into Kaesong is seen by Seoul as a way of ensuring Pyongyang does not unilaterally close the complex again.