DPRK demanding $100 USD residence fee at Kaesong Industrial Complex

Institute for Far Eastern Studies
NK Brief No. 08-3-7-1
North Korea’s latest demand at the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC) is a 100 USD per person registration fee for South Korean workers residing in the complex’s dormitories. The North demanded the fee early in 2007 to cover registration and issuance of registration certificates regarding workers visiting or residing in the complex, and negotiations have been underway the entire year.

An unnamed source close to the South Korean government stated, “At the end of January, the North unilaterally decided on the KIC visiting and residing fees, and when they were not complied with [the North] notified [the South] that they would ban entrance” to the complex, however, “despite this, currently entrance into the complex is freely obtainable.”

The North set a 35 USD fee for registering a short-term stay of up to 90 days, and a 100 USD fee for registering a one-year residency, according to the source. A Unification Ministry official acknowledged, “The fee demanded by the North is not exorbitant, but from the perspective of the businesses in the complex, negotiations on reasonable measures were in progress.”

North Korea is making its demands based on the ‘Kaesong Industrial Zone Entrance, Dwelling and Residence Regulation’ enacted in December 2003. According to this regulation, fees must be paid for issuance and reissuance of registration papers when applying for short term stays up to 90 days, long term visits over 90 days, and residency of one year or more. Currently, there are over 800 South Korean employees who would need to pay fees for visiting or residing at KIC.


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