• Two Koreas sign deal on Kaesong committee

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    SEOUL: The two Koreas formally signed an agreement on Thursday forming a joint committee that will meet next week and is tasked with re-opening and running a joint industrial park shut down in April.

    The initial challenge facing the 12-member committee is hammering out a schedule that will lead to the resumption of operations at the Kaesong complex.

    The South’s Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs, said the first meeting would take place Monday in Kaesong, 10 kilometers inside the North Korean border.

    The complex was established in 2004 as a rare symbol of North-South reconciliation and survived a series of crises on the Korean peninsula that saw other joint projects collapse.

    But operations were suspended in April when the North withdrew all its 53,000 workers at a time of heightened military tensions.

    Pyongyang said its hand had been forced by “provocative” South Korea-US joint military exercises.

    The two Koreas agreed earlier this month to create the joint committee in an effort to get the complex—a valuable source of hard currency for the North—up and running again.

    AFP

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