by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) Jan 7, 2016
South Korea said Thursday it was imposing partial restrictions on entry to a joint industrial complex in North Korea, a day after the hermit kingdom shocked the world with its fourth nuclear test.
The Unification Ministry said it will only permit South Korean businessmen and those directly involved in the operation of the Kaesong Industrial Complex to cross the border for the time being for safety concerns.
"The entry restriction is a measure to ensure the safety of the citizens in this state of emergency," a ministry official told AFP, asking not to be named.
Around 500 South Koreans still crossed the border to Kaesong on Thursday, but the official said the number would quickly be reduced.
The move was described as "an initial countermeasure", with the official suggesting further Kaesong-related restrictions could be imposed in the future.
"Once we get the full picture of international sanctions on North Korea, the measure will need to be reviewed," the official said.
With backing from China, Pyongyang's sole major ally, the 15-member UN Security Council on Wednesday strongly condemned the test and said it would begin work on a new UN draft resolution that would contain "further significant measures".
The Kaesong industrial estate opened in 2004 and currently hosts more than 120 South Korean companies which employ some 53,000 North Korean workers.
The estate is a precious source of hard currency for the isolated and impoverished North. The South Korean firms get cheap labour as well as preferential loans and tax breaks from the government.
The business park -- virtually the last remaining form of economic cooperation between the Koreas -- has become increasingly vulnerable to turbulent swings in inter-Korea politics.
In 2013, during a period of heightened cross-border tensions, Pyongyang effectively shut down the zone for five months by withdrawing its workers.
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
Learn about missile defense at SpaceWar.com
All about missiles at SpaceWar.com
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|