North Korea Makes First Insurance Payout to South

Korea Times
11/26/2006

A North Korean insurance company compensated a South Korean firm for a car crash at the joint inter-Korean industrial complex in Kaesong, North Korea, for the first time, reports said yesterday.

A bus belonging to the Kaesong Industrial District Management Committee, which legally belongs to the Stalinist North, and a vehicle of the Korea Land Corp., a state-run company of South Korea, collided at the complex on July 12, according to reports.

The South Korean company had its car repaired in the south, but asked a North Korean insurance company to cover the bill, which was estimated to be around 1.1 million won ($1,160).

After consulting both companies, the North’s insurance company decided the bus driver was responsible for 80 percent of the incident, paying some 840,000 won, which was actually paid in U.S. dollars, to the South Korean company on Sept. 21.

Some 21 South Korean firms operate factories, using cheap but skilled North Korean labor in the complex, which opened in June 2004. The number of North Koreans at the complex exceeded 10,000 last week, according to the Ministry of Unification.

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