Rival parties disagree over Kaesong talks

SEOUL, July 16 (Yonhap) -- Rival political parties in South Korea on Tuesday expressed divergent views on the impasse in inter-Korean talks to normalize a suspended joint industrial complex.

The third round of talks on Monday ended without closing the gaps between the two sides over details in reopening the factory park in North Korea's border city of Kaesong. Delegates from both sides are set to meet again on Wednesday in a bid to hash out a compromise.

The complex has been suspended since early April when Pyongyang withdrew all its 53,000 workers from the 123 South Korean firms operating in Kaesong amid heightened military tensions.

The two Koreas last week had agreed in principle to normalize operations at the inter-Korean factory zone, but failed to reach a deal on how to reopen it.

"It's regrettable that the third round of talks ended without results, but we take it as pains for a better alternative," said Rep. Min Hyun-joo, a spokeswoman for the ruling Saenuri Party.

Min renewed calls for institutional measures to prevent North Korea from unilaterally shutting down the complex again, which he says is more important than rushing into agreement.

The main opposition Democratic Party, however, voiced concerns about the deadlock.

"We should resolve problems when we're able to meet," Rep. Jun Byung-hun, the floor leader of the opposition party, said at a party meeting. "(I) ask both the South and the North to be wise in their negotiations to resolve simple issues first and then think of ways to gain both economic benefits and outside trust by separating politics from economics."

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