Pyongyang said Tuesday it would allow South Korean businessmen to visit their plants in the shuttered Kaesong joint industrial district but reiterated its refusal to move forward with talks on the complex.
The North’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said it approved a trip by South Korean businessmen to the Kaesong complex and vowed to guarantee their safety.
“The South does not need to worry about their safety,” the committee said in a statement. “If they still do not feel reassured, they may send with them members of the Committee for Operating the Kaesong Industrial Zone,” it said, referring to Seoul’s state body that oversees the complex.
North Korea, however, declined South Korea’s repeated calls to hold working-level talks on the complex, which was seen as the last strand of inter-Korean cooperation.
A South Korean delegation was denied entry into Kaesong after Pyongyang withdrew all its workers, forcing operations in the complex to ground to a halt. Dozens of South Korean workers refused to leave their companies and were left with limited supplies for weeks until Seoul pulled the last of the employees.