Border talks on shuttered inter-Korean factory park in jeopardy

SEOUL, July 25 (Yonhap) -- After a new round of talks on reopening a shuttered inter-Korean factory park ended without progress Thursday, North Korea warned that its military may re-occupy the zone in its territory, South Korean pool reports said.

The open North Korean warning strongly indicates that weeks-long inter-Korean talks on the troubled industrial zone in the North's border city of Kaesong are in jeopardy and may not resume, they said.

After the six-round of talks ended in Kaesong, chief North Korean delegate distributed the draft copies of all proposals he had made at the talks, saying that South Korea is to blame for the failure to reach agreement.

The border negotiations began July 7 with the aim of reopening the industrial complex that has remained shut since early April after the North withdrew all of its 53,000 workers hired by the 123 South Korean plants operating there, citing the then U.S.-involved military exercises in South Korea.

Throughout the border negotiations, South Korea sought a firm North Korean guarantee to never shut down the complex again for non-economic reasons, while North Korea, ignoring the South Korean calls, demanded only an immediate, unconditional reopening of the zone.

The industrial complex, a direct product of the historic inter-Korean summit in 2000, opened in 2004 at a location where North Korean military units were stationed.

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