South Korean companies sue for sanctions losses

According the Hankyoreh:

South Korean businesses engaged in economic cooperation with North Korea who have incurred major losses due to sanctions are showing signs of working together in response to their predicament, including suing the government for compensation. The South Korean government imposed the sanctions on North Korea in connection with the sinking of the Cheonan.

Around 10 heads of businesses investing in tourism at Mt. Kumgang, businesses planning to move in to Kaesong Industrial Complex, and businesses trading with other parts of North Korea are known to have gathered in central Seoul on July 19 and agreed to embark jointly on responsive measures, including taking legal action against the government.

“In a situation where there is no sign of an improvement in inter-Korean relations, businesses cooperating with North Korea are going beyond the limits of their tolerance,” said one official working in a field related to inter-Korean economic cooperation during a telephone interview with the Hankyoreh on July 20. “Those taking part in the meeting easily agreed to respond as a group, including by suing the Ministry of Unification for damages. They decided to meet once more some time around next week and decide upon a specific plan. Around ten businesses are currently preparing to sue.”

The affected businesses have decided to demand that the government withdraw the Cheonan sanctions while urging it to provide systematic guarantees that North-South economic cooperation can continue in a stable manner regardless of the political situation. They are also known to be considering plans such as one-man protests, returning their business licenses and issuing a statement.

Two materials processing companies, including CEO Kim Chan-ung’s NFN, have sued individually for damages, but this is the first time since the sanctions were imposed, on May 24 last year, that businesses dealing with North Korea have acted together against the government in an organized manner.

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S.Korean businesses to sue for losses from sanctions
Kim Jong-cheol


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