S. Koreans visit inter-Korean industrial park for 2nd day to retrieve materials

SEOUL, July 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korean businessmen visited the inter-Korean industrial park in Kaesong for a second consecutive day to bring back finished products and raw manufacturing materials, the government said Saturday.

Ministry of Unification that handles relations with the communist country said 115 businessmen and workers crossed the demilitarized zone (DMZ) with 112 vehicles earlier in the day to retrieve materials from the joint venture that has remained idle for over three months.

On Friday, personnel from 44 companies using around 100 trucks brought back 145 tons worth of finished and half-finished goods. The move was made possible by an agreement reached last weekend when the two Koreas agreed in principle to reopen the complex that remains the only viable economic link between the two sides.

All operations at the complex came to a halt on April 9 when the North ordered all of its 53,000 laborers not to report to work in the midst of heighten cross-border tensions.

The ministry said all those that went to Kaesong, located just north of the DMZ, along with 40 administrative personnel, will return later in the day. It did not say how many tons of materials will be brought back.

It said no crossings will take place on Sunday, with movement to resume Monday when Seoul and Pyongyang will sit down for a third round of talks to normalize the complex.

Seoul has insisted on strong safeguards to prevent another work stoppage in the future, while Pyongyang has called for the immediate resumption of operations once all preparations have been completed.

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