N. Korea welcomes S. Korea-U.S. FTA for leaving room for Kaesong complex


North Korea has welcomed the just-signed free trade agreement between the South and the United States on Monday, seeing its possible role of promoting an inter-Korean industrial complex in its territory, Pyongyang’s management body of the complex said.

In the trade pact, the two sides agreed to hold further negotiations on goods produced in the Kaesong industrial complex, which Seoul wants to be treated as made in South Korea.

Pyongyang sounded upbeat that the pact has left room for the inclusion of Kaesong goods in the trade deal.

“We welcome sincerely (the fact) that the South Korea-U.S. FTA agreement has prepared the foundation for the goods from the Kaesong industrial complex to be treated as made in South Korea,” the Kaesong Industrial District Management Committee, which oversees the joint project between South and North Korea.

The Kaesong complex, just a few kilometers north of the inter-Korean border, is one of two flagship projects the South operates in the spirit of reconciliation with the North following their historic summit in 2000. Over 11,000 North Korean workers are employed by dozens of South Korean companies producing garments, utensils and other labor-intensive goods. Another reconciliation project is the operation of tours to the North’s scenic Mount Geumgang.

South Korean companies operating in Kaesong say the inclusion of the goods in the FTA is crucial, as this will open the doors for their exports to the world’s largest market and will also provide a template for future trade deals with other countries.


Comments are closed.