Kaesong production value returns to pre-Cheonan levels

According to Yonhap:

The monthly production from the South Korea-invested industrial park in North Korea exceeded US$30 million for the first time since tension escalated over the North’s torpedoing of a South Korean navy ship a year ago, the government said Sunday.

The Kaesong industrial complex produced $31.05 million worth of products in January, up 6.7 percent from $29.09 million in December, the Unification Ministry said.

It was the first time that the monthly production from the Kaesong complex topped $30 million since the attack took place in March last year. The complex produced $30.79 million worth of products that month.

Seoul suspended all cross-border trade after a multinational investigation found North Korea responsible for the March sinking of the warship Cheonan. Relations between the divided countries hit the worst point in more than a decade when the North shelled the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong in November.

Despite the high tension, the annual production at the complex increased 26 percent to $323.32 million last year compared to a year earlier.

The rise appears to be due to the steady increase of North Koreans working in the complex.

A total of 46,194 North Koreans, up from 42,397 in January last year, now work in the communist state’s border town of Kaesong, providing labor for South Korean firms that produce goods such as clothes, utensils and watches.

The factory park was a result of the first inter-Korean summit that took place in Pyongyang in 2000. More than 120 South Korean firms operate in Kaesong, providing capital and know-how in exchange for cheap labor.

Previous posts about the Cheonan incident are here.

Previous posts about the Kaesong Industrial Zone are here.

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Production at Kaesong complex returns to $30 million mark


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