Kaesong production up 14% in 2011 – employment to increase

According to Yonhap:

The joint South-North Korean industrial complex in the North’s border city of Kaesong saw its production expand 14.4 percent in 2011 from a year earlier, Seoul’s unification ministry said Monday.

The total production at the Kaesong Industrial Complex reached US$369.9 million during the January-November period last year, up from $323.3 million worth of production for all of 2010, according to the Ministry of Unification.

The output during the last month of 2011 has not been tallied yet, the ministry said, adding the on-year growth rate may be far greater.

Production for the first 11 months of 2011 marks a 25.7-percent growth from the same period in the previous year, the ministry also noted.

Monthly production hit $31.1 million in January last year and hovered near the $30-million mark every month last year, except in February, according to the ministry.

The ministry attributed last year’s output growth to an increasing number of workers at Kaesong.

North Korean laborers working at the complex reached a peak of 48,708 as of November last year, the ministry said. The comparable figure at the end of 2010 was 46,284, it said.

Yonhap also reports the following:

The provision of new laborers is seen as a signal of the new North Korean leadership attempting to maintain the joint industrial complex, the symbol of inter-Korean economic cooperation, despite the North’s repeated denunciations of the Lee Myung-bak administration for allowing only a former South Korean first lady and a businesswoman to visit Pyongyang to mourn Kim’s death.

“North Korea will provide about 400 more laborers to the Kaesong Industrial Complex on the 26th (of January) immediately after the Lunar Yew Year’s holiday,” a source at the Kaesong complex said.

A Unification Ministry official also said that he “heard that North Korea will soon increase the laborers at the Kaesong Industrial Park.”

The North had planned to increase the number of North Korean laborers late last month but suspended the plan due to the sudden death of Kim on Dec. 19.

Hundreds of South Korean factories in the industrial park employ 48,708 North Koreans as of the end of November last year, up 2,400 from a year earlier.

Read the full stories here:
Production at joint industrial Kaesong park expands 14.4 pct in 2011

N. Korea to provide 400 new laborers to S. Korean firms in Kaesong: sources


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