Government Plans Kaesong Personnel Change

An official in the Ministry of Unification has revealed that the government is planning to allow an increase in the number of South Korean nationals permitted to overnight within the Kaesong Industrial Complex.

The new standard will allow a 50% increase in South Koreans staying in the Complex, from the current 600 to a maximum of 900, with the new limits set to take effect after the “Chuseok” harvest festival later this month.

Explaining the plan, the official said, “While the restrictions on residing personnel have been in place, fatigue has accumulated and problems have constantly occurred with companies having a great many production and quality errors,” adding, “So we can expect the government to select this course of expanding the number of residing personnel to between 800 and 900 this week.”

“Especially, maintaining production quality during the period of high demand starting in September with the current staffing levels would be difficult,” the official went on, “so companies have requested an increase in staffing levels, and the government has been considering the companies difficulties and requests.”

However, the official stressed that the move doesn’t mean the government is softening its stance in terms of post-Cheonan sanctions measures, saying, “The May 24th Measures will stay in place, and restrictions on new business investment and new investment in existing businesses will continue.”

At the time of the May 24th Measure, the number of personnel permitted to overnight in the Complex was fixed at 550 from its original limit of 1,000, though the real average was only around 500. However, the limit was increased to around 590 in July based, the Ministry of Unification announced at the time, on the “stances of the corporations and (the government’s) experience of running the complex.”

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