|Former South Korean Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun speaks with VOA from his office at the National Unification Advisory Council in Seoul, Nov. 28, 2019. (File photo by= B=VOA)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] A former South Korean unification minister called for the inclusion of foreign companies when pushing to reopen the now-shuttered industrial complex in North Korea's border town of Kaesong, saying it will help prevent the risk of the two Koreas abruptly pulling out of the project.
Jeong Se-Hyun, former unification minister and current executive vice-chairperson of the presidential National Unification Advisory Council, made the remarks Thursday during a virtual seminar urging for the reopening of the complex. "We have to come up with ideas that are appealing to North Korea. We need to explore ways to avoid U.N. sanctions and to make the complex international, which would also make North Korea less concerned (about the fate of the complex)," Jeong said.
Hosting foreign companies at the factory park would be a way to internationalize the complex, Jeong said, adding that it would prevent North Korea or the "South Korean government from pulling out abruptly as it did during the Park Geun-Hye administration." Meanwhile, in February 2016, then-President Park closed the Kaesong Industrial Complex in retaliation against the North's nuclear and missile provocations. The Kaesong complex had been considered one of the most tangible symbols of inter-Korean reconciliation.