10:30 08 June 2013
After months of tension, a surprising proposal from North Korea was received by Seoul on Thursday. The proposal was carried out by state news agency KCNA as official channels of communication were severed following several months of threats and rhetoric from the communist North.
Kaesong industrial zone, which houses more than 120 South Korean manufacturers employing 53,000 North Korean workers, is one of the key sources of revenue for Pyongyang. In early April, North Korea pulled out its workers in the wake of its February 12 nuclear test that brought tension to the region.
The KCNA statement said: “We propose holding talks between authorities of the North and the South for the normalisation of the operation in the KIZ [Kaesong Industrial Zone] and the resumption of tour of Mt Kumgang.”
According to reports, South Korea appeared to welcome the move saying it “positively views North Korea’s proposal.”
Meanwhile, the Unification Ministry is hopeful that this could be the start of something good for both South and North Korea. He said: “We hope that South and North Korea can build trust through this opportunity.”
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