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North, South Korea agree to reopen Kaesong industrial zone on Sept. 16

The shared Kaesong industrial park will reopen next week, after lengthy talks between North and South Korea finally produced an agreement.

Kaesong industrial zone to reopenEnlarge
A US soldier takes pictures as South Korean trucks return after being barred access to the Kaesong joint industrial park in North Korea on April 3, 2013. (JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)

North and South Korea agreed early on Wednesday to reopen the Kaesong joint industrial park on Sept. 16 following marathon talks that went through the night, media reports said citing South Korean officials.

Operations at the complex, which lies on the North Korean side of the border, ground to a halt in April amid escalating tensions following Pyongyang’s third nuclear test.

Operations will resume on a trial basis, South Korea's Unification Ministry said in a statement. 

Pyongyang and Seoul reached an agreement last month to reopen the shuttered plant, but until now had not set a date. 

The two sides also agreed on safeguards to prevent further stoppages.

Kaesong, which is home to 123 South Korean factories and employs more than 50,000 North Koreans, was created in 2004. It is an important source of hard currency for the isolated North Korean regime.

More from GlobalPost: Seventh time's a charm? Koreas reach Kaesong agreement

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/north-korea/130910/north-south-korea-agree-to-reopen-kaesong-industrial-zone